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Primary Prevention

2021 - 2023 Statewide Primary Prevention Plan

As the statewide leader in intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention across the state, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) is pleased to present the next round of our strategic priorities to prevent and address the public health crisis of intimate partner violence. This plan will build on the efforts from our 2017-2019 plan and guide our work for the next 3 years.

Just as our previous prevention plans laid out particular foci, this plan is guided by five overarching themes: Social Emotional Learning, Social Determinants of Health, Collaboration, Mentorship, and Social Media. This plan and the following 3 years will be both trauma-informed and social/racial justice-informed. An acknowledgement of the impacts of trauma, including race-based trauma, guides this work and our priorities.

The following plans correspond to five overarching strategic directions:

  • Implement anti-racist social-emotional learning models for youth and teens throughout Connecticut to drive violence prevention priorities both within and outside the school system.
  • Address the Social Determinants of Health and focus on root causes of violence in our communities.
  • Promote mentorship programs for both youth and adults, valuing survivors, children, and people who formerly used violence for the unique contributions they can make to their community.
  • Meet people where they are by effectively utilizing social media to promote IPV prevention goals and strategies.
  • Collaborate and create the conditions for collaboration between IPV service providers and the larger academic community to investigate critical IPV prevention drivers and to forge new relationships for information sharing.

What is Primary Prevention?

Primary prevention is any action, strategy or policy that prevents intimate partner violence (IPV) from initially occurring. Primary prevention seeks to reduce the overall likelihood that anyone will become a victim or a perpetrator by creating conditions that make violence less likely to occur. Prevention of IPV focuses on preventing first-time perpetration and first time victimization.

CCADV strongly believes that domestic violence, including intimate partner violence, is preventable.  While we have comprehensive intervention programs that address the effects of domestic violence after it occurs, we consider the prevention to be the first step in the process of addressing domestic violence so that we can stop the abuse before it begins. 

It is critical to define the underlying causes that prompt and perpetuate IPV and to implement strategies that impact those underlying causes. It is generally agreed that effective prevention efforts should promote healthy, respectful relationships in families, while countering the underlying beliefs, attitudes, and social norms that are deeply embedded in our social structures and that condone forms of family and intimate partner violence.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Toolkit

Nationwide, 1 in 3 teens reports being physically, sexually or emotionally hurt by their partner. According to the CT Department of Public Health, 17% of CT high school students report being emotionally abused by a dating partner and 8% report being physically abused by a dating partner (2011 School Health Survey Youth Risk Behavior Report). Early exposure to abusive or violent relationships increases the likelihood of those types of relationships being repeated later in life.

Primary prevention is one of CCADV’s priority goals and working to end teen dating violence and early experiences with unhealthy relationships is a key piece to that goal. To facilitate this effort, we have created a Teen Dating Violence Awareness Toolkit. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and a great time to use the toolkit to engage teens and adolescents, but many of the tools included can be used throughout the year to educate about healthy relationships and how to get help. The toolkit includes useful statistics, warning signs, resources for help, and activities such as sample tweets and selfie signs to get people engaged through social media.

Download our Teen Dating Violence Awareness Toolkit in English or Spanish!

For more information about primary prevention, please contact Linda Blozie, Director of Training & Prevention, at (860) 282-7899 or lblozie@ctcadv.org.

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If you need help or just someone to talk to, please visit CTSafeConnect.org or call or text (888) 774-2900. Advocates available 24/7.

Si necesitas información o si solo quieres conversar con alguien, por favor visite CTSafeConnect.org o llamada or texto (888) 774-2900. Los consejeros estará disponible las 24 horas del día, los siete días de la semana.