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Primary Prevention

Primary Prevention of sexual violence means stopping the violence before it even has the chance to happen.

How to Promote Primary Prevention

Policies and Practices

Development and implementation of policies and practices that discourage sexual violence and encourage primary prevention measures.


Use of research to guide prevention and serve as a catalyst for change

Public Awareness

Events and social media are tools you can use to increase education around sexual violence, prevalence, and ways to prevent sexual violence.

Prevention Programs

Attend workshops on healthy sexuality, consent, healthy relationships, communications building, boundary setting, and bystander intervention.


Anchor 1

Freely Given. A choice made without pressure, coercion, manipulation, or  influence of drugs or alcohol.

Specific. Saying yes to one thing does not mean saying yes to the other things.

Clear. Silence is not the same thing as saying yes.

Reversible. Anyone can change their mind, anytime, about what they want or do not want.

Enthusiastic. Moving beyond the initial 'yes'. Engagement and excitement is present.

Ongoing. Saying yes now does not presume yes in the future.


Feeling required or forced to do something you don't want to do.

For example: Use of a weapon or continuing to ask after you say no


The use of words or emotions to convince you or trick you into doing something you do not want to do.

For example: Telling you this is "what partners do."

Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

A healthy relationship should exist between you and your family, friends, and dating partners. These relationships will bring out the best in you and the other person. A relationship should make you feel happy, confident, and supported.

talking on phones

Good Communication



Politician Greeting Children

Mutual Respect










Mutual Trust

Anchor 2

Power and Control Wheel

Anchor 3

Bystander Intervention

Anchor 4

Bystander Intervention involves developing the awareness, skills, and courage needed to intervene in a situation when another individual needs help. Bystander intervention allows individuals to send powerful messages about what is acceptable and expected behavior in our community.


Intervene directly. Let the person know that their actions are not okay. Do not use physical violence to intervene.

"I don't like how you are speaking to them."

"I don't think that's a good idea."

"That isn't nice. You shouldn't say things like that."


Find a way to redirect the attention of those behaving inappropriately. 

Change the subject.​

Call or text someone on their phone.​

Tell someone that you saw someone looking for them.​

Drop your books or bag.


Find someone who is best equipped to handle the situation.

Ask a teacher for help.​

Ask a friend to step in.

Ask a family member to assist you.

Ask a group of people to help you.


Create time and space to better understand the situation.

Just check in with the person.​

Combine a distraction technique to separate the people.​

Ask if everyone is okay.​

Ask how you can help.


Video or photo can be helpful. Only document if the situation is safe.

ALWAYS ask the person being harassed what they want to do with the footage. Do NOT post online, use it or send to people without permission.


Keep your attention on the person being harassed – make sure anything you do is focused on supporting them.

Rules for Bystander Intervention

  1. Do not put yourself at risk.

  2. Do not make the situation worse.

  3. Intervene at the earliest point possible.

  4. Look for early warning signs of trouble.

  5. Intervening does not necessarily mean confronting.

  6. Ask for help.

  1. Each situation calls for an informed approach and may be different each time.

  2. How does your personality inform your approach?

  3. Be aware of your own power in each situation.

Your Bystander Skillset

Steps of Bystander Intervention

  1. Notice that something is happening.

  2. Recognize something is wrong.

  3. Take personal responsibility.

  4. Know how you can help.

Learn More

Prevention for Students

Sexual violence can happen to anyone. It isn't only impacting college students, but also high school and middle school students. You can start learning how to prevent sexual violence at any age.

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