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WCASA is Wisconsin's only state-wide coalition dedicated to ending sexual violence.

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        Our Mission

        The Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault creates the social change necessary to end sexual violence. 

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        Core Concepts

        The prevention of sexual violence requires a comprehensive, community-wide approach. When we speak of prevention, we are not talking just about stopping someone from doing something in the moment, but about changing the cultural perspective and thought process so that violent behaviors are not even seen as an option.


        Primary Prevention

        Public Health professionals define three levels of prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Historically, the sexual assault movement was in reaction mode – responding to the crisis, supporting survivors who had already been sexually assaulted, and raising awareness of available resources. Over the last decade or so, the movement has shifted toward focusing more on primary prevention – intervening “up-stream”, or addressing the root causes of violence in order to prevent it from happening in the first place.


        Socio–Ecological Model

        What would it take to raise a generation of boys and girls who grow up without violence as their model for how to behave? Those boys and girls need to receive positive, violence-free messages from their peers, the adults in their lives, and the pop culture that surrounds them. In the movement, we refer to this as the Socio-Ecological Model:

        social-ecological model

        Individual behavioral choices are affected by one’s own individual identity and belief systems as they relate to messages, beliefs, boundaries, and expectations expressed by significant others and other family members, parents, peer groups, school or other social community, and the culture at large. [For more information, see the CDC publication “Sexual Violence Prevention: Beginning the Dialogue”].

        From an institutional perspective, another way of thinking about this is to use the “spectrum of prevention” model:


        Spectrum of Prevention

        6. Influencing Policy and Legislation Developing strategies to change laws and policies to influence outcomes. 
        5. Changing Organizational Practices Adopting regulations and shaping norms to improve health and safety.
        4. Fostering Coalitions and Networks Convening groups and individuals for broader goals and greater impact.
        3. Educating Providers Informing providers who will transmit skills and knowledge to others.
        2. Promoting Community Education Reaching groups of people with information and resources to promote health and safety.
        1. Strengthening Individual Knowledge and Skills  Enhancing an individual's capability of preventing injury or illness and promoting safety.

        [the Prevention Institute has a One Page Description of The Spectrum of Prevention PDF: portable document format handout of the information above].

        You can read more and download resources at the Prevention Institute Spectrum of Prevention page.



        9 Principles of Prevention Programming

        The prevention of violence can take many forms; as the field has grown, practitioners have begun to identify best practices in terms of those things that make programming most effective. The CDC has identified “9 Principles of Primary Prevention”, concepts borrowed from other prevention efforts (substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, school failure, juvenile delinquency & violence) which have proven successful in shifting people’s behavior over time. To be successful, when planning prevention programming your organization should consider the following:


        The “9 Principles of Effective Prevention Programming”

        1. Comprehensive
        2. Varied Methods
        3. Sufficient Dosage
        4. Theory Driven
        5. Positive Relationships
        6. Appropriately Timed
        7. Socio-Culturally Relevant
        8. Outcome Evaluation
        9. Well-Trained Staff


        Prevention and Health

        • Safe States Alliance national clearinghouse non-profit supporting state and local injury and violence prevention professionals.
          • State of the States Reports - latest is 2009 [PDF downloads available on page] | a national view of injury and violence prevention efforts and goals.
        • Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 – WI State Health Plan hosted on DHS | a state level view of injury and violence prevention efforts and goals.



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          We have discontinued our blog. For up to date information, please see the WCASA Voice newsletter.