Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Jenelle Shanley Chatham

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Salazar


INTRODUCTION: Sexual violence is a serious public health problem that can be harmful to one’s health, both physically and psychologically (WHO, 2010). While progress has been made in recent years to build the evidence-base for sexual violence prevention, additional research is needed to expand the inventory of effective sexual violence prevention strategies and evaluate prevention-based programs.

AIM: This study seeks to evaluate the Rape Prevention and Education program, a national sexual violence prevention program, to determine the degree to which the best known prevention principles are being incorporated into state sexual violence prevention plans by grantees.

EVALUATION: State sexual violence prevention plans were obtained through online research using the state health departments’ websites when available. A total of 42 state plans were collected. Eight states and the District of Columbia were not included in the study due to the state plan being inaccessible. Each state plan was carefully examined to determine if the plan contained the seven variables.

RESULTS: In terms of the degree to which prevention principles were incorporated into the state plans, 6 state plans (14%) incorporated six or more principles, 7 state plans (17%) incorporated six principles, 23 state plans (55%) incorporated three to five principles, and 6 state plans (14%) only incorporated one to three principles.

DISCUSSION: Individual prevention principles that states had the greatest strengths in were collaboration (100%), primary prevention (98%), culturally appropriate (83%). Areas that require further improvement include identifying an evidence-based sexual violence intervention to be incorporated into their plans. While majority of states (52%) identified the need to use an evidence-based intervention, only 41% of states were able to explicitly identify the use of an evidence-based sexual violence intervention and determine sufficient dosage for these interventions. By continuing to invest in the evaluation of prevention-based prevention programs and promising practices, researchers and funders can also help to expand our understanding of what works to prevent sexual violence.