Domestic violence is preventable! As the movement to end domestic violence embraces this concept and explores the implementation of effective prevention programming, it is necessary to first examine the capacity of our networks, communities, and agencies to take on this work. The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence defines organizational capacity for primary prevention as “the agency’s ability to support and implement domestic and sexual violence prevention efforts” (2012). When an agency fully embraces primary prevention, the work becomes part of the organizational culture, existing in all departments, volunteers, board members, and administrators (PreventConnect, 2012). It all begins with systems change within our organizations.
Primary prevention is changing the social norms that allow and condone violence. Preventing violence means changing our society and its institutions—targeting attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, environments and policies to eliminate those that contribute to violence and to promote those that stop the violence. Primary prevention of domestic and sexual violence is defined as preventing violence before it occurs. This is social change work. This is the foundation of the movement working to end violence against women (MCADSV, 2012)
This collection provides materials to support the work of building this capacity for primary prevention work – primarily on the organizational level, but also as it relates to assessing and influencing change in individuals, communities, and institutions. The resources offered as part of this collection describe lessons learned from the CDC’s DELTA PREP project, provide capacity building guidelines, and review the necessary steps of readiness assessment, program development, training, evaluation, and planning for sustainability when it comes to implementing effective strategies to prevent domestic violence.