Where we’re going and where we’ve been: Making the case for preventing sexual violence

(August 2018)

What will it take to reframe sexual violence to focus on prevention?

We embarked on this project with the Berkley Media Studies Group (BMSG) because we knew something needed to change in the way our field communicated about sexual violence – and what to do about it. We partnered with BSMG to develop message strategies to get us closer to this destination. The way we communicate about sexual violence can make a big difference in how our intended audiences understand the problem and what to do about it. Making the case for prevention demands that we go beyond the scope of the problem and articulate what to do about it — not just after the fact, but also what needs to happen to prevent abuse and assault in the first place. Preventing sexual violence across the lifespan demands collective action from everyone – including, but not limited to, sexual violence prevention experts. Our communication needs to reach beyond our own field of experts and resonate with public audiences. That, in turn, means we need to think differently about language and framing our topic.

And check out this Handout: Journey Map Activity 2019 to help people build their own journey metaphors, which are critical for successful messaging!

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