Connections Selector: CDC’s newest online tool to prevent multiple forms of violence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites preventionists across multiple forms of violence to explore the new Connections Selector. This online tool visualizes what many in the field already know: many forms of violence are interconnected, share risk and protective factors, and interact with other forms of violence across the social-ecological model. The Connections Selector can help prevention practitioners identify prevention strategies based on which form(s) of violence they are addressing, which risk and protective factors they are modifying, and whether they are taking an individual, relationship, community, or societal approach to ending violence.
While most of the information on the Connections Selector was previously available on the Connecting the Dots document, this new tool provides a quick visual interpretation of the document and allows users to narrow down their search for modifiable risk factors. For example, a sexual violence prevention practitioner could want to also prevent teen dating violence, and they want these efforts to have a societal-level impact. The prevention practitioner can select the filter buttons for sexual violence and teen dating violence, scroll down to the societal level of the SEM, and see that harmful norms about masculinity and femininity is a shared risk factor for both sexual and teen dating violence. The practitioner can then plan strategies to address these harmful gender norms and prevent sexual violence and teen dating violence.
The Connections Selector is a fantastic way for sexual violence and intimate partner violence preventionists to see how working to address shared risk and protective factors across the social ecology impacts prevention for multiple forms of violence. This tool can also facilitate cross-sector collaboration by helping practitioners identify how their work intersects with other forms of violence and build connections with other violence prevention practitioners, such as those preventing suicide, bullying, or child abuse and neglect. Combining efforts, resources, and expertise from multiple disciplines and violence prevention topic areas elevates prevention to have a greater impact on creating safer, healthier, violence-free communities.