MDH intitiatives and actions for implementing Minnesota's sexual violence prevention plan.

This page includes:
Action Teams (2010-11)
Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN)
Things YOU Can Say or Do to Prevent Sexual Violence
Minnesota Champions
Engaging Men in Sexual Violence Prevention
Current Actions to Achieve the Plan: Moving Beyond Imagination

Action Teams (2010-11)

All Participants

In Spring 2010, four Sexual Violence Prevention Action Teams were reorganized around a specific 18-month focus developed by the Leadership Team:Creating a healthy, respectful environment in Minnesota that does not sexually exploit children.

Patty Wetterling

Three previous Action Teams (Framing and Messaging, Data and Research, and Policy and Legislation) worked from 2008-2010. Their accomplishments are summarized an issue of Moving Beyond Imagination.

Messaging Team Photos taken August 10, 2009 at a joint Action Teams meeting and June 6th, 2008 at the Action Launch.

Current Action Teams with possible goals for the 18-month period:

  • Work with media partners to present and discuss positive ways to cover sexual violence issues, particularly those involving children.
  • Develop procedures and tactics to respond to positive and negative images in the media.
  • Recommend an organizational policy prohibiting anonymous blogging in response to items in online media.
  • Develop a presentation for policy makers on the impact on children of the normalization of sexual harm.

  • Increase the number of prevention champions in faith groups/communities.
  • Create a short list of key concepts that all faith communities can sign on to – show that they worked together for a healthy environment for children.
  • Create a prevention plan or tool kit to help those in faith communities advance sexual violence prevention.

  • Assess what a "healthy environment in schools" would look like.
  • Assess what is working and where there are gaps. Then develop best practices for awareness/norm changing initiatives.
  • Develop materials for educators on how to advance primary prevention efforts/policy and create a safe, healthy, and equitable environment.
  • Make sure programming/efforts are inclusive and accessible to the disability community.
  • Recommend policies to change the school environment, for example, to encourage students to prevent violence as active bystanders.

  • Develop a series of Research Briefs to help interpret relevant research for practitioners.
  • Gather Minnesota researchers in a symposium, to determine what research is being done and needs to be done around issues in the strategic plan.
  • Serve as a resource for other project areas with regard to their research information needs.

Once you are on a team's mailing list, you will receive meeting notices, minutes, and other materials and can determine your preferred level of involvement. If you are unable to attend meetings in person, conference calling can be arranged.

Top of Page

Things YOU Can Say or Do to Prevent Sexual Violence

Actions everyone can take to prevent sexual violence:

  • View A Place to Start: A Resource Kit for Preventing Sexual Violence.
  • Learn more about sexual violence prevention by joining the Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN)
  • Learn about local programs and identify the experts in your community.
  • Speak out about preventing sexual violence, using your influence with:
    • Children (boys and girls)
    • Friends and relatives
    • Co-workers
    • Civic groups
    • Faith communities
    • Neighborhood or community groups
  • Ask about policies and practices that promote safe and welcoming environments and prevent various forms of sexual violence. You may find these policies at your place of work, your place of worship, your child's school, or youth/sports groups. If you find good policies, send them to MDH (Minnesota Department of Health) so they can be shared elsewhere!
  • Pay attention to messages that influence your children (magazines, TV, video games, internet). One message may seem harmless but hundreds shape our views and can influence our behavior.
  • Write a letter to the editor or contact the sponsors of sexually violent messaging and marketing.
  • Pay attention to the potential influence of pornography with its changing content (more violent and degrading depictions) and its reach through technology.
  • Attend or arrange a presentation on sexual violence prevention to a group to which you belong (e.g., county board, employee group, book club, church, PTA).
  • Present an award to an individual, organization or business in your community for its role in taking action to prevent sexual violence.
  • Ask yourself:
    • What am I as a dad or mom or an uncle or aunt doing to prevent sexual violence?
    • How can I engage my school (PTA), church, civic organization, coworkers, block clubs in preventing sexual violence?

Actions community professionals/leaders can take to prevent sexual violence:

  • View A Place to Start: A Resource Kit for Preventing Sexual Violence.
  • Learn more about sexual violence prevention by joining the Sexual Violence Prevention Network (SVPN)
  • Become a Prevention Champion (or recruit someone else) in your organization and county to serve as a leading voice for prevention in your county.
  • Complete an assessment of resources in your organization and county that can help to stop sexual violence.
    • Assess what each department or agency is currently doing related to sexual violence prevention.
    • Identify strengths and gaps and present a report to the board.
  • Increase awareness and understanding that sexual violence and exploitation covers the life span - from childhood sexual abuse and exploitation to elder sexual abuse.
    • Sponsor training for your organization, county staff and the public as a way to raise awareness and momentum for action.
    • Consider presenting the TPT 30-minute video "Stop Sexual Violence: Listen and Lead." Available from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault: 651-209-9993.
  • Form a sexual violence prevention collaborative with businesses, health care, service providers, schools, law enforcement, elected officials, faith communities, and others.
  • Collect county-wide data about the incidence and costs of sexual violence.
  • Solicit suggestions from county staff about sexual violence prevention activities. Support local initiatives already in place.
  • Provide support for public health family home visiting, which is effective in reaching high-risk populations.
  • Host countywide in-service trainings about sexual violence prevention.
  • Work with your County Commissioner to develop a board resolution stating the county's commitment to stopping sexual violence (see letter from Commissioner Jim McDonough).
  • Ask yourself:
    • What am I doing as a professional to prevent sexual violence?
    • How can I use my sphere of influence in the business, government, faith, education communities to advance preventing sexual violence?
Top of Page

Minnesota Champions...Working Together to Prevent Sexual Violence

MN Champions

"Minnesota Champions" is a new initiative from MDH (Minnesota Department of Health) and Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough, president of the Association of Minnesota Counties.

Commissioner McDonough shows his personal and professional commitment in a letter to county commissioners, in which he encourages all 87 counties to take action to prevent sexual violence.

Ramsey County Commissioner's Letter (PDF: 76 KB/1 page)

Current County Resolutions/Plans:

Current resolutions and prevention plans created and adopted by other Minnesota counties:
Hennepin County Resolution (PDF: 27 KB/2 pages)
Ramsey County Resolution (PDF: 270 KB/3 pages)
Olmsted County Resolution (PDF: 20 KB/2 pages)
Winona County Action Plan (PDF: 52 KB/4 pages)

Three other counties are making strides as well—Douglas, St. Louis, and Wabasha. Their resolutions or plans will be posted as adopted.

For more information:

    To learn how to become, or recruit others to become, sexual violence prevention champions:
  • contact>Amy Kenzie,
If you are ready to take action now, use Commissioner Jim McDonough's letter and start conversations with your colleagues.

Imagine Minnesota when we are all working together to prevent sexual violence!

Top of Page

Engaging Men in Sexual Violence Prevention

The MN Men's Action Network was initiated by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to build a public/private prevention effort that promotes male leadership.

To this end, a collaborative effort between MDH, Men As Peacemakers in Duluth, Minnesota, and the Gender Violence Institute in Clearwater, Minnesota has been established to develop a network of men and male leaders involved in primary prevention practices. Current efforts are being supported by MDH, the Bush Foundation, and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

MN Men's Action Network

Top of Page

Moving Beyond Imagination

Moving Beyond Imagination

Moving Beyond Imagination is a quarterly update on the Action Teams and other activities to implement Minnesota's sexual violence prevention plan. To subscribe to the "Moving Beyond Imagination" E-Newsletter contact Evelyn Anderson

Moving Beyond Imagination Newsletter

Top of Page

The Minnesota Department of Health attempts to report all data accurately. If you discover an error, please contact us at
By using this system, you agree to not share these data in ways that would identify individuals or provide information on any malicious acts.