By David Lee

Preventing intimate partner and sexual violence against women: Taking action and generating evidence, the excellent new report from the World Health Organization,  identifies the value of primary prevention strategies:

The primary prevention of intimate partner and sexual violence is likely to save lives and money – investment to stop intimate partner and sexual violence before they occur is crucial as this will protect and promote the well-being and development of individuals, families, communities and societies.

The definition of the public health approach used in this report examines many perspectives on prevention including gender-based, human rights and criminal justice approaches.

While the report shows a limited number of “evidence-based” prevention strategies (none are identified to prevent sexual violence), by highlighting promising efforts and describing approaches to measure prevention efforts, this report is a valuable tool to help point the way to build the prevention knowledge in the coming years.

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project Prevention Connection, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 27 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence