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Making a Splash: Enhancing Prevention With Art

There is a lot of research and support on the arts as a teaching tool and a therapy modality. It is also very often a great platform for awareness projects that give voice to survivors and community activists making statements on social change. All of these uses of art – awareness raising and supporting survivor healing – are important pieces of the puzzle in moving towards ending sexual violence. 

This issues of PISC seeks to explore how art can be applied in a comprehensive primary prevention program. We explore the framework for and examples of arts-based primary prevention. We start off with an understanding of the research behind art for social change work and how to use it to address underlying causes of sexual violence. Next we delve into two great examples of arts-based prevention in action – from our sister coalition in Virginia and one of Washington State’s RPE projects in Colville. We finish this issue with Resources and the Question Oppression section to help further the conversation about using art in your work.

And don’t worry, as you’ll read in the issue, it’s not important for a preventionist to be a great artist to use art in their work. There’s room for all of us in arts-based prevention! We hope this issue will provide you with some new ideas and resources to use in your prevention work. We welcome feedback at prevention@wcsap.org.

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Reviewed: May 25th, 2016