In 1997, Washington State developed its first sexual violence prevention plan. The plan focused on changing the conditions that cause sexual violence. In 2008, the state began the process of revising the plan. Like the 1997 plan, this new plan emphasizes meaningful change rather than symptoms. Both plans view community development as a lever for change.
The Washington State Department of Health and the Department of Commerce - Office of Crime Victims Advocacy are partners in this planning process. Funding for sexual violence prevention includes Rape Prevention and Education Funds. These are part of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funds managed by the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC requires recipients of this funding to develop a statewide sexual violence prevention plan.
A committee formed to revise the plan. The committee consisted of stakeholders familiar with sexual violence prevention. It identified the following goal:
To change the norms, values, beliefs and attitudes that cause sexual violence through the shifting of ownership of solutions from social services to the community.
Based on this overarching goal, members chose a blend of strategies to help prevention professionals improve their practices.
These strategies intend to help attain these outcomes:
- Increase community collaborations and partnerships.
- Train individuals, communities and agencies in promising prevention practice.
- Strengthen infrastructure.
- Strengthen program management.
It is the hope and intent of the committee to engage individuals, communities, organizations, and government to prevent sexual violence.