Because individual behavior is influenced by a range of personal, relational and social factors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that prevention strategies involve interventions that reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors across levels of the social ecological model. The model below illustrates levels of society; public health strategy understands these levels as interactive and reinforcing sources of influence on behavior.
For more information about the social ecological model of violence prevention visit the CDC.
Risk and Protective Factors
Risk factors are influences that correlate with an increased risk that an individual will become a perpetrator or a victim. Protective factors are influences that correlate with a decreased risk for perpetration or victimization. Identifying relevant community risk and protective factors, then framing prevention campaigns designed to reduce risks and/or to enhance protections is effective strategy for creating effective prevention initiatives. Below are examples of factors for consideration across levels of the social ecology.
- Individual—factors relating to an individual’s knowledge, attitudes, behavior, history or biology.
- Interpersonal/relationship—factors relating to the influence of parents, siblings, peers and intimate partners.
- Organizational/Institutional—factors relating to the policies procedures, practices and culture of organizations.
- Community—factors related to the laws, traditions, norms and practices within a given geographical or population-based community.
- Society—factors related to the broad social forces that frame attitudes and behavior: inequalities, oppressions, organized belief systems, relevant public policies and the media.
The idea is that social change is a large scale operation requiring multiple strategies at multiple levels for success. Individuals carry knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, but those are formed in relationships with family, peers, institutions, communities and society. It is difficult for an individual to change his attitudes or behaviors if those changes are not supported elsewhere in his community or culture. Accordingly, effective primary prevention strategy will require efforts across all levels of the social ecology. Here are a few examples of prevention strategies across levels of the social ecology to get us thinking about the possibilities.
|School-based prevention education programs like Love Is Respect||Mentor programs and Bystander intervention programs||Policy development for businesses, schools, organizations and congregations||Social marketing campaigns and the law||Legislation (sanctions for violence and financial support for DV programs) and media advocacy|
Delta and Delta Prep
The CDC launched the Delta project, administered by the CDC, in 2002. Delta funded 14 states to work with existing coordinated community domestic violence response teams to initiate prevention programs. Through the course of this experience, starting from community-based prevention work, the Delta states learned a great deal about prevention. Amongst the lessons learned was that primary prevention is complicated. Unlike adding a new intervention program to existing services, primary prevention represents a paradigm shift in thinking and strategy necessitating a significant learning curve for members of staff, but also requiring the development of new organizational structures to ensure the sustainability of the movement.
Accordingly, the Delta Prep was launched by the CDC Foundation in 2009 providing seed funding to 19 coalitions for a three year period to develop their capacity for primary prevention work. Please see the map below for a who’s who of Delta and Delta Prep states. Currently, Delta states serve as mentors to the Delta Prep states providing resources and advice from their successes and challenges in working with local communities to implement prevention programs. North Carolina and Florida serve as Indiana’s Delta Coaches.
Delta Prep Project Goals:
- To increase the number of coalition structures, processes and practices that include IPV primary prevention
- To increase DELTA PREP states’ capacity to support IPV primary prevention efforts within communities and statewide
- Advance a national IPV primary prevention movement
For more information about Delta Prep, please visit the CDC Foundation.
Delta Prep Efforts
In March 2009 ICADV was selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a competitive grant process as a Delta Prep state. As a Delta Prep state the coalition is supported with seed funding for three years to develop organizational capacity to implement primary prevention strategy in Indiana. To that end, the Coalition has worked to collect resources to develop our expertise for prevention work, to institutionalize prevention strategy as a permanent part of the Coalition’s work, and to develop the relationships and communication systems necessary to support local communities in implementing prevention initiatives. Since beginning the Delta Prep project staff have:
- Crafted vision statement; incorporated prevention in the mission statement
- Incorporated prevention responsibilities in all staff job descriptions
- Collected prevention resources
- Launched prevention listserve
- Joined existing state prevention efforts
- Convened full prevention track at annual conference
- Created a range of training materials
- Collaborated on effort to compose, lobby for and implement TDV legislation