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Gender Violence Prevention

Our materials

Our Approach

We approach Gender Violence Prevention from an evidence based perspective. Research tells us something about what works to help people learn about and become effective in combating gender violence. Nine Principles to Effective Prevention Programs*

  1. Comprehensive: Strategies should include multiple components and affect multiple settings to address a wide range of risk and protective factors of the target problem.
  2. Varied Teaching Methods: Strategies should include multiple teaching methods, including some type of active, skills-based component.
  3. Sufficient Dosage: Participants need to be exposed to enough of the activity for it to have an effect.
  4. Theory Driven: Preventive strategies should have a scientific justification or logical rationale.
  5. Positive Relationships: Programs should foster strong, stable, positive relationships between children and adults.
  6. Appropriately Timed: Program activities should happen at a time (developmentally) that can have maximal impact in a participant’s life.
  7. Socio-Culturally Relevant: Programs should be tailored to fit within cultural beliefs and practices of specific groups as well as local community norms.
  8. Outcome Evaluation: A systematic outcome evaluation is necessary to determine whether a program or strategy worked.
  9. Well-Trained Staff: Programs need to be implemented by staff members who are sensitive, competent, and have received sufficient training, support, and supervision.

*From Prevention Connection, cited from: Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E., & Davino, K. (2003). What works in prevention: Principles of Effective Prevention Programs. American Psychologist, 58, 449-456

Theory/Research-based framework for creating behavior change

  1. What doesn’t work – interventions based on:
    1. Scare tactics
    2. Telling people how to behave
    3. Knowledge/Information – stand-alone, fact-based is effective for 10-15% of the target audience
    4. Myth debunking
  1. What does work – interventions based on:
    1. Potentiating self-schemas (Belief Systems Theory) – lasting attitude change comes from interventions that allow people to maintain/enhance their existing self-concept.
    2. Social norming – an exercise that helps students correct their misperceptions about peer behaviors and attitudes.  Social norming has been used successfully as a means of reducing extreme drinking.
    3. Social comparison—humans have a drive to evaluate themselves by examining their opinions and abilities in comparison to others, which can result in behavior change designed to match or differentiate one’s own opinions/abilities/behaviors.
    4. Creating cognitive dissonance—cognitive dissonance is the discomfort a person experiences when their beliefs and actions are inconsistent.  People are motivated to relieve this discomfort by either changing their beliefs or changing their behavior in order to achieve consistency.
    5. Compelling narrative (Transportation Theory)—the ability of well-crafted stories and authentic testimonials to quickly and enduringly alter beliefs and attitudes.
    6. Motivational Interviewing techniques—help students reveal to themselves the difference between their core values and their daily behavior to appreciate the usefulness of change.


Video to help discuss the complexities of consensual sexual negotiation
Can I Wear Your Hat?

Videos about Response

Concerned about a friend who was sexually assaulted

Getting a better understanding of stalking

Description of CU Boulder's Office of Victim Assistance