Primary Prevention Plan

Primary Prevention Plan

This page includes:
What is Primary Prevention?
Spectrum of Prevention
State Plan: The Promise of Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence
Current Actions to Achieve the Plan: Moving Beyond Imagination

What is Primary Prevention?

Primary prevention is about preventing the risk and victimization of sexual violence before it occurs. It is about creating equality and ensuring safety and peace in communities. It is about changing the social norms, values and belief systems that make our society toxic and contribute to sexual violence. It is about putting energy, knowledge and expertise into stopping sexual violence before it happens.

Secondary and tertiary prevention are also essential. Secondary prevention takes place when there is an increased risk of sexual violence, and tertiary prevention involves providing care and services after someone has been a victim of sexual violence, to prevent further victimization.

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The Spectrum of Prevention

Prevention work in Minnesota is strongly influenced by the Spectrum of Prevention, created by The Prevention Institute to show that prevention must occur at every level of society. It is used nationally.

The Spectrum of Prevention encourages people to move beyond teaching about healthy behaviors or self-defense. When activities occur at multiple levels of the spectrum, they produce a synergy that is more effective than any single activity. As activities are identified in each level, they will lead to interrelated actions at other levels.

Levels of the Spectrum include:

Spectrum of Prevention

Spectrum of Prevention (PDF: 31 KB/2 pages)

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State Plan: The Promise of Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence

Full Plan:

SVP Full Plan

The Promise of Primary Prevention: Five Year Plan presents the "big picture" of preventing sexual violence in Minnesota. It defines issues, sets goals, and establishes the infrastructure needed to achieve the goals.

The Promise of Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence: Five Year Plan (PDF: 4.3 MB/58 pages)

The Promise of Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence: Five Year Plan (DOC: 935 KB, 53 pages)

Executive Summary:

The Promise of Primary Prevention: Executive Summary (PDF: 568 KB/5 pages): The Executive Summary summarizes the plan's six goals including the strategies to achieve the goal.

Brochure: Imagine Our Lives without Sexual Violence

Imagine Brochure Imagine Our Lives without Sexual Violence or Exploitation: Brochure (PDF: 122 KB/2 pages)

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Sanne Magnan's letter of support for the plan

June 2009

Dear Fellow Minnesotan,

Sexual violence can be prevented. The Promise of Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence: A Five Year Plan to Prevent Sexual Violence and Exploitation in Minnesota is the framework for action. It reflects the thoughts and experiences of people who work to prevent sexual violence, who serve victims/survivors and/or work with perpetrators. It is a shared vision of how Minnesota can prevent sexual violence from happening.

The plan, developed with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is for all of Minnesota. It articulates roles for many stakeholders in addressing sexual violence. We have learned the terrible costs of sexual violence: its effects on victims/survivors, families, and all of society, as well as the shocking financial costs. In one year, 2005, we spent nearly $8 billion on sexual violence. The number of lives affected is staggering; the Minnesota children and adults sexually assaulted in 2005 would nearly fill the Metrodome, and this does not take into account the effect on their families or others in their community. Even so, these emotional and financial costs are conservative, because not all forms of sexual violence are included in the $8 billion.

Many people and organizations in Minnesota work in secondary and tertiary prevention by: assisting victims in their recovery and working with perpetrators to stop their offending behaviors. We support these efforts. However, we must also put energy, knowledge and expertise into stopping sexual violence before it happens; this is primary prevention. We need to reduce the risk factors that are associated with sexual violence, and strengthen the protective factors that reduce the likelihood of sexual violence.

Our goal is to create a culture where sexual violence is unthinkable.

Thank you to all who have cared enough about this issue to work together to identify effective ways to prevent sexual violence. Minnesota has a rich history of innovation, vision and good people coming together to make change happen. Read this document as a call to action to help stop sexual violence.


Sanne Magnan, MD, PhD
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975

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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

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