Identifying links between sexual violence and youth violence perpetration: new opportunities for sexual violence prevention.

New avenues for sexual violence prevention programs targeting youth include research and strategies that address various forms of youth violence, including but not limited to sexual violence.


Summary: This article examined new possibilities in sexual violence and youth program development.  Historically, sexual violence programming has focused on one aspect of violent behavior such as sexual violence, dating violence, and/or bullying.  The inclusion of youth violence prevention strategies and research in sexual violence programs represents a new avenue and is justified because of overlapping risk factors.  Such risk factors include school connectedness, social disorganization, and availability of alcohol/drugs.  One program presented in the article, Communities that Care (CTC) creates community coalitions that include schools and faith based institutions in the prevention of youth problem behaviors.  A randomized trial of CTC across 24 communities and 7 states, found that communities with CTC programs had significantly lower rates of sexual violence, youth violence, youth delinquency, and substance abuse.  The research suggests that creating a strong presence in each of the areas (school, church, and community) helps to increase the protective factors of all the youth in the community or neighborhood.


Application: This article examined the possibility of merging components of successful youth violence prevention programs into sexual violence prevention programs.


Limitations: To date, sexual violence literature and research is not as extensive as youth violence literature and research.  However, sexual violence research may be applied to the youth violence field to promote cross-disciplinary approaches to reducing both public health problems.

DeGue, S., Massetti, G. M., Holt, M. K., Tharp, A. T., Valle, L. A., Matjasko, J. L., & Lippy, C.
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Psychology of Violence, Advance Online Publication
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