Understanding Sexual Violence Using a Public Health Model



Date of Publication
January, 2003

Sexual violence can be viewed many ways. Some of the more common perspectives are mental health, criminal justice, medical, social and political. In the 1970’s the anti-rape movement clearly operated from a socio-political analysis of the issue. As service delivery structures were created our analysis expanded to accommodate the collaborations taking place in the criminal justice, mental health and medical systems.

Over the past decade there has been a push to incorporate the public health analysis into our proverbial bag of tricks. Advocates have been somewhat wary of this shift. However, the public health model is inclusive of many of the ideals on which the movement was founded.

The public health model seeks to involve the whole community in seeking solutions. It is multidisciplinary. It encompasses a wide range of interventions, from treatment to prevention strategies. This issue of the digest hopes to provide an overview of resources and articles that provide insight to those seeking to understand sexual violence utilizing the public health model.

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