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Office of Women's Health

Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program (SVPEP)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Find out more.

If you are in immediate danger call 911!

  • Sexual Assault Hotline - Central & Northern Arizona (602) 254-9000
  • Sexual Assault Hotline - Southern Arizona 1-800-400-1001 or (520) 327-7273
  • Our Website:

What is the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program (SVPEP)?

The Arizona Department of Health Services receives funds from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide programs aimed at preventing sexual violence in Arizona. Currently, there are seven non-profit agencies in three counties receiving funds to support a variety of primary educational programs throughout the state.

The target populations include students in junior high through college, women in the community, professionals (medical, legal, law enforcement), and minority populations, such as mono/bilingual Latino youth and Native American youth.

In 2006 RPEP was renamed the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program (SVPEP)to reflect its broader goals of ending all sexual violence, to include teen dating violence.

Why is this program needed?

Data below is from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report is a publication of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.
  • More than half (51.1%) of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.
  • An estimated 13% of women and 6% of men have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime (i.e., unwanted sexual penetration after being pressured in a nonphysical way); and 27.2% of women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact.
  • Most female victims of completed rape (79.6%) experienced their first rape before the age of 25; 42.2% experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18 years.
  • More than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (27.8%) experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger.

What are the goals of the program?

The mission of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program is to promote prevention of sexual coercion and violence by increasing the public's knowledge about sexual coercion and violence and applying that knowledge through diverse prevention efforts. The goals of the program include:

  • Provide information and technical assistance that contribute to heightening awareness and the prevention of sexual coercion and violence.
  • Improve communication, coordination, and collaboration among contractors and other organizations providing related services.
  • Build program capacity by strengthening state and local program infrastructure.
  • Identify need for and support rape/ sexual violence prevention education throughout Arizona, including sustaining or expanding successful programs and stimulating the development of new programs.

What has the program achieved?

The CDC funded Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program provided sexual violence prevention across three counties. From November 1, 2010 until October 31, 2011 the program reached a total of 18,289 participants with a total of 264 single/multi-session presentations, from November 1, 2011 through March 2012 the program has reached 6,570, with a total of 238 presentations. The target populations include school staff, family and community members. Sub-targeted populations are Latino/a, Native American, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ), incarcerated youth, and staff of alcohol-serving establishments. Arizona State University program includes: presentations discussing sexual assault and healthy relationships that are provided to students and faculty, staff, and student leaders who are in the position to influence student attitudes and behaviors; a media campaign including posters, electronic newsletter articles, Face book and web-based information which supports the university's SVPEP efforts which can reach up to 70,000 university students.

Subjects in the multi-sessions workshops include: Bullying & Sexual Violence, Consent, Dating Violence, Drug Facilitated Rape, Gender Roles, Healthy Relationships, Masculinity & Sexual Violence, Media Advocacy, Oppression, Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence, Role of Bystanders and Sexual Harassment. Arizona's sexual violence prevention and education components include using a public health approach supporting comprehensive primary prevention program planning using the Ecological Model; the Spectrum of Prevention; applying the principles of effective prevention tools and strategies; and evaluating sexual violence primary prevention strategies and activities. .

Along with the focus groups, ADHS established the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee to develop a statewide plan. This committee was comprised of representatives from every corner of the state, and included state and county public health departments, social service agencies, law enforcement and public safety agencies, justice system, medical providers, faith communities, and youth organizations. The members firmly believed in the prevention of sexual violence and added insight into the development of the first state plan on primary prevention of sexual violence. The vision we share as Arizonans in our diverse communities united in a culture that does not tolerate sexual violence that gives the state the determination to implement this plan. Member of the committee meet at least every other year to discuss the plan and make certain it is still grounded in reality.

In 2011-12 ADHS began working toward implementing strategies outlined in the plan relating to alcohol serving establishments. The strategy states, "Implement proactive policies and practices in establishments that serve alcohol to decrease environmental factors that contribute to alcohol-related sexual violence." This includes the development of a statewide alcohol-serving establishment training curricula and by-stander intervention education which are core components of decreasing sexual aggression. We are excited to involve several alcohol-serving establishments and community partners in this project.

Arizona Sexual Violence Primary Prevention and Education 8-Year Program Plan, January 2010PDF