Moving Beyond Imagination E-News

Moving Beyond Imagination E-News

April 01, 2009
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In this issue:
1. Introduction
2. The Action Teams
3. Combined Meeting of All Teams (watch for date in late summer)
4. Watch for bus ads soon!
5. Other initiatives:
6. What are your thoughts?

1. Introduction

Issue #1: April 2009

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

~ W.H. Murray

You are one of the bold ones! You are a member of one or more of the Action Teams of the Minnesota Sexual Violence Prevention Program. Or you may have participated in other ways to make our hopes and dreams for prevention become more real and our efforts more measurable.

This is the first quarterly update on activities of our Action Teams and Leadership Team to better inform everyone about the big picture. The theme of the plan is...

Imagine our lives without sexual violence or exploitation.

Now, as the plan is implemented, we are...

Moving Beyond Imagination

All of us at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) thank you for your support, your expertise, and your commitment to build a world without sexual violence. Please consider this a two-way communication opportunity; see "What Are Your Thoughts?" Imagine the difference we can all make by sharing information about what works in Minnesota.

Patty Wetterling
Director, Sexual Violence Prevention Program
Minnesota Department of Health


Attached is the Executive Summary of The Promise of Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence: A Five-Year Plan to Prevent Sexual Violence and Exploitation in Minnesota. The plan contains six major goals and many strategies for action. Please share it with others who can take a role in implementing these strategies. Later this month, we will send a link to the full plan, with information about ordering print copies.

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2. The Action Teams

Contact the staff members listed for additional information on the any of the Action Teams or to join their mailing lists.

Framing and Messaging ActionTeam

This team will develop sexual violence prevention messages and healthy sexuality messages for selected audiences throughout the state.

Facilitators: Patricia Francisco and Dave Mathews

Staff: Amy Kenzie,, and Evelyn Anderson,

What the Action Team is doing:

  • Has recommended to the Leadership Team an overall framework and themes for communicating about the prevention of sexual violence and development of healthy relationships. The consensus was to focus on positive messages that indicate what behaviors we want to see, rather than simply trying to eliminate those we don’t want.
  • Is developing messaging to help people understand the continuum of sexual relationships and violence.
  • Is seeking consensus on preferred terminology, messages, and media for various audiences. Messages will be tested.
  • Will be working with marketing and communications professionals in refining messages that will help Minnesotans speak with a voice that is unified and respectful of cultural differences.

Policy and Legislation Action Team

This team will recommend legislation and organizational policies and practices to effect change.

Facilitators: Chuck Derry and Donna Dunn

Staff: Patty Wetterling,, and Lindsay Gullingsrud,

What three subgroups are doing:

  • Policy initiatives: Its purpose is to identifying policy strategies to target prevention of sexual violence. The group supported a legislative forum on sexual violence prevention, hosted by the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA). The group also proposed a "clean hotels" policy, in which state agencies encourage their employees traveling on business to stay in hotels that do not offer adult pay-for-view movies.
  • Strategies for expanding buy-in from policy-makers: Its purpose is to expand the network of support for prevention initiatives and educate critical public and private partners. The group currently is initiating outreach to county boards and tribal leadership.
  • Model policies to remove toxins and nurture positive environments: Its purpose is to assist public and private organizations by identifying, creating, and promoting policies and procedures that can affect the creation of positive, healthy and equitable environments that support the prevention of harm. The group is creating a community assessment tool and a model sexual violence prevention policy that can be adapted by businesses, workplaces, schools, and other communities.

Data and Research Action Team

This team will identify data sources, compile and organize relevant research, evaluate prevention programs, and share data and research broadly.

Facilitators: Nicole Matthews and Jen O’Brien

Staff: Evelyn Anderson,, and Mark Kinde,

What three subgroups are doing:

  • Primary Data. This group has helped MDH staff create a Sexual Violence Data Brief, which summarizes information from hospitals, criminal justice sources, and self-report surveys.
  • Model Prevention Programs. The group is adopting criteria for determining which prevention programs should be shared as statewide models.
  • Risk and Protective Factors. This group is learning about and sharing current research on perpetration risks and protective factors. It also is planning a series of webinars or presentations featuring people who have done outstanding research.

The Data and Research Action Team also is developing a bibliography of journal articles and other resources relating to sexual violence prevention: topics include child sexual abuse, college sexual violence, disability and sexual violence, human trafficking, perpetration, poverty and sexual violence, social norms, teen pregnancy and sexual violence, and victimization.

Leadership Team

Members: Facilitators and staff from the three Action Teams

  • Serve as “guardian of the plan,” ensuring that it remains the focus of prevention work.
  • Develop an overall frame for communicating about sexual violence prevention.
  • Measure implementation of the plan. 
  • Assess the progress of Action Teams: ensure communication among teams and recommend redirection as appropriate.
  • Act on issues and needs identified by each Action Team.
  • Discuss current developments/issues in the sexual violence prevention field and recommend action as needed.
  • Review, share, and act on Legislative proposals relating to sexual violence prevention.
  • Assess funding needs and seek support.
  • Identify leadership and promote training opportunities.
  • Engage other groups to launch prevention activities.

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3. Combined Meeting of All Teams (watch for date in late summer)

The planning retreat that began this process took place in August 2007. Two years later, retreat participants and others will be invited to a meeting to learn more about what has happened since the retreat, including the work of all the teams and many other initiatives.
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4. Watch for bus ads soon!

MDH has taken advantage of a special opportunity to place advertising on metro-area buses for four weeks in April and May. One hundred Metro Transit buses will carry “headlight” ads, and 900 inside placards will be placed inside buses.

Imagine Bus Ad Front
Outside “headlight” ad; front of buses

Imagine Bus Ad Interior
Inside placard ad with more detail

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5. Other initiatives:

In addition to work of the Action Teams and Leadership Team, the following initiatives are advancing the goals of the plan:

  • Presentations. Since last summer, MDH staff and our partners have presented to more than 4,000 people at conferences and have networked with hundreds of others at meetings.
  • Partnerships: Our primary partnerships are with MNCASA, the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition (MIWSAC), the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women (MCBW), and the Minnesota Men’s Action Network (MNMAN). We continue to build strong connections and collaborate with state agencies -- including the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety, Human Services, Education, and Corrections; the Minnesota State Council on Disability; and the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities -- and with many nonprofit organizations.
  • Roundtables. MNCASA has hosted roundtables around the state where people from various interests came together to talk about how they can make things better within their spheres of influence. These programs have featured Cordelia Anderson, a national consultant who inspires people to care and get involved in our communities. She focuses on countering the normalization of sexual harm.
  • 87 Ways To Prevent Sexual Violence. This initiative supports boards of commissioners in all 87 Minnesota counties as they assess sexual violence prevention activities and develop county prevention plans. This initiative is supported statewide by Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough, current president of the Association of Minnesota Counties. A companion guide to the Minnesota state plan will help engage the counties and tribal governments.
  • Sexual Violence Prevention Summit. In December 2009, MNCASA, MDH, and the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety and Education will host the first statewide sexual violence prevention summit, which will engage industry, policy, government and media leaders, and issue experts to advance the MDH plan.
  • Regional Trainings. The Minnesota Men’s Action Network (along with Cordelia Anderson, MNCASA and MIWSAC) will be conducting five regional trainings in late April and May to provide professionals with an overview of sexual and domestic violence, as well as prevention solutions and action planning. Watch for details in the Sexual Violence Prevention Network E-News.

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6. What are your thoughts?

What comes to your mind as you read about the Action Teams or other activities? What resources should Action Teams or our other partners know about? Who else should be involved? What other issues should be explored? Send your questions or ideas to Evelyn Anderson, or call 651-201-5448.

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Moving Beyond Imagination E-News is brought to you by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) with support from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Contributed items are solely the responsibility of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent official views of, or endorsement by the MDH or the CDC.

mdh logo
Sexual Violence Prevention Program
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO BOX 64882
ST PAUL MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5484

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