Acting to prevent anyone from being subject to unwanted or improper sexual advances or activity
What is Primary Prevention Of Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence is any form of sexual contact without the consent of either party. This type of contact includes the obligation to have sexual relations using physical force, intimidation, threats, or more.
In addition, this also includes touching, caressing, and kissing that are not desired by the affected party. Worldwide it is one of the most committed crimes, being its primary representative rape.
This type of crime mainly affects girls and women. However, men, boys, and adolescents may also suffer sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
Sexual violence leaves tremendous physical and mental sequels that will need special treatment to be overcome. Given the seriousness of these consequences for any person, we seek to include the population in the primary prevention of sexual violence.
What is the primary prevention of sexual violence?
Primary prevention is a system used to prevent sexual violence by attacking the root of the problem. For this purpose, different works are carried out at different levels of society to achieve changes in the perception of sexual violence as a crime.
Targeted interventions, campaigns, mass media messages, and many other initiatives are used for this purpose. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness among the population and make them understand how harmful this practice is.
This type of system attacks crime within society to eliminate it from society. It also seeks to encourage victims to denounce the crime, as well as to protect them and help those affected by it.
What means are used to carry out primary prevention of sexual violence?
There are a large number of initiatives and ways to carry out this method of prevention. However, they all seek the same thing: to raise awareness among the population. Among the most popular means are the following:
- Seek government intervention in creating laws and policies that safeguard the sexual integrity of every individual.
- Influence within institutions and companies to ensure that some policies and laws reflect zero tolerance for sexual abuse.
- Conduct mass mobilizations of communities to demand the protection of these rights.
- Initiate campaigns through social networks or educational campaigns.
- Directly attack the problem by changing each individual’s knowledge and attitudes. To this end, raise awareness among children, adolescents, men and women.
- Create institutions responsible for protecting those affected by this type of violence.
How effective is primary prevention of sexual violence?
An educated society that learns to identify sexual assault is much less likely to commit the crime. Therefore, primary prevention seeks to focus on the grassroots of society so that education and laws directly attack the problem and prevent it from occurring.
In addition, this type of prevention works best when multiple of the practices mentioned above are added together. By combining mass media, mobilization, and a solid school base, awareness and sensitization of the population can be achieved.
However, two things must be considered for maximum effectiveness of these methods. The first is that it must be directed massively, seeking to change the beliefs and attitudes of a collective, as well as to establish social norms.
The second method to consider is educating the collective and encouraging victims to denounce anyone committing such a crime. This way, crimes can be punished and not go unpunished under established laws.
Is it indispensable to introduce these practices within a society?
In addition to being a more effective solution against sex crimes, it seeks to raise awareness among the population that the crime should be punished and not ignored. In this way, not only do individuals not commit the act, but they are willing to denounce anyone who commits such abuse.
Many of these practices are already in place within society but are not efficiently enforced. Government agencies must enforce zero-tolerance policies for these actions so that those who enforce the law act effectively.
On the other hand, practices against primary prevention of sexual violence should not be misused. It should be aimed at preventing the abuse of one individual by another, but neither should it facilitate the empowerment of one group of individuals over another.
A clear example of misapplied practices is the creation of protection agencies that judge any interaction as if it were abuse. These agencies often skip the due process of each individual and prefer to brand them as guilty without giving them the right to defend themselves.
Finally, we must seek to generate prevention and institutions to safeguard and help the victims of such abuse. In this way, we not only seek to prevent crime from occurring but also to help those affected by it.