The Vermont Department of Health is committed to the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. There are three types of prevention activities:
- Primary prevention: Activities that take place before violence has occurred to prevent initial perpetration or victimization.
- Secondary prevention: Immediate responses after violence has occurred to deal with the short-term consequences of violence.
- Tertiary prevention: Long-term responses after violence has occurred to deal with the lasting consequences of violence for the victim/survivor, as well as offender treatment interventions.
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The Health Department makes every effort to engage in prevention activities, whenever possible, according to the Vermont Prevention Model. This model supports a comprehensive public health approach that not only addresses individual risk and protective factors, but also the norms, beliefs, and social and economic systems that create the conditions for the occurrence of sexual violence. This model incorporates risk and protective factors from multiple domains, and identifies four levels of human experience at which prevention activities can be directed.
Rape Prevention and Education (RPE)
Recognizing this, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. This landmark legislation established the Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goal of the RPE program is to strengthen sexual violence prevention efforts. It operates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and six U.S. territories. In Vermont, funding is provided to the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Umbrella, Inc., and Women’s Information Service (WISE) for community-based sexual violence prevention efforts.
Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)
Authorized by Congress as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) teaches about abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Vermont’s PREP program also covers three adult preparation topics: Healthy Relationships, Healthy Life Skills, and Adolescent Development. Vermont PREP provides funding to four community-based organizations: Service Rendered, Windham County Youth Services, Vermont Coalition for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs (which includes Addison County Parent Child Center, Northeast Kingdom Community Action, Northwest Counseling and Support Services, Windsor County Youth Services, and United Counseling Services), and the Bristol Hub Teen Center and Skate Park.
Vermont Department of Health supports the work of Vermont’s Consent Campaign, an innovative, statewide initiative launched in 2011. The Campaign aims to support consent education in middle and high schools throughout Vermont. Trainers offer a one day train-the-trainer course for teams of educators and students. Youth are given leadership opportunities to help advocate and integrate the materials back at their school, as well as become peer leaders on the topic. Adults are provided with education resources including classroom exercises, multi-media tools and training materials.
The Consent Campaign focuses on:
- Building good communication
- Recognizing the five major elements of consent
- Understanding the age of consent law
For more information about the Consent Campaign, visit the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, or call 802-223-1302.
Organizational Support and Participation
Vermont Department of Health operates an internal Domestic Violence Advisory Group (DVAG). In addition, the department is a part of the Vermont Agency of Human Services Domestic Violence Steering Committee, and is a member of Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force, and the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission.
For more information about the Department of Health's work with domestic and sexual violence, or any of these initiatives, contact: Ilisa Stalberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-951-4026.