A 3-component approach incorporating focus groups in strategic planning for sexual violence prevention.

Key point: This article discusses the planning process that was utilized in the state of New Mexico to prevent sexual assault.

Summary: An advisory committee was formed in New Mexico with the aim of sexual violence prevention.  This article highlights the planning and processes utilized in what the author’s referred to as a three-component advisement and feedback structure.  The first component involved the creation of a sexual assault advisory group.  The members of the advisory group met on a monthly basis for a year.  The second component involved recruiting and working with subject matter experts to help develop sections of the community plan, such as addressing the Prison Rape Elimination Act in New Mexico.  The third component included the recruitment and involvement of professionals with expertise such as rape crisis and rape prevention staff.  All of these components were then utilized to hold focus groups and formalize a community plan.  The following themes emerged from the focus groups: community specific prevention, comprehensive prevention programs, talking about violence in a common language, sexual violence as a public health problem, and new areas for future prevention programs.

Application/Evaluation: This study might be of interest to those who work in the prevention field and are interested in using coalitions or other community organizations  to prevent sexual violence.  A formal evaluation did not take place but the advisory group reviewed all of the focus group data.

Limitations: Since the study did not utilize a formal program evaluation it is not known yet if the results can be replicated.

Cruz, T. H., Hess, J. M., Woelk, L., & Bear, S.
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Family & Community Health
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