Center for Community Health and Development to Partner with Statewide Initiative to Prevent Sexual Violence

When the Kansas Coalition for Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention (KCSDV) learned its proposal for rape prevention and education had been granted federal funding, it reached out to the KU Life Span Institute’s Center for Community Health and Development (CCHD) for help implementing its project. 

"An illustration in shades of yellow, black red and teal of figures of people standing with their face not visible"
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of women and almost 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. Adobe Stock image

The initiative, “Rape Prevention and Education: Assessing Coalition Capacity to Advance Primary Prevention,” has been funded through a one-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The grant will help KCSDV through the first stage of putting their plan into action. 

The KCSDV is a statewide nonprofit organization that acts as a voice for victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Through its mission to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence, the organization trains professionals, collaborates on public policy and increases awareness about sexual and domestic violence. 

For its role, the KU's CCHD will help assess the organization’s capacity for the project, including evaluating their readiness to plan and implement equity-focused strategies, develop recommendations based on assessment findings to promote health equity, and advance primary prevention in future work.

CCHD leaders are hopeful that this effort leads to a four-year implementation grant from the CDC. Christina Holt, associate director of the CCHD, said the partnership is an exciting opportunity. 

"We are serving as the main implementation partner this first year, assessing the statewide coalition's capacity to advance primary prevention of sexual violence in Kansas," Holt said. “KCSDV believes in the critical importance of primary prevention, and is excited to be receiving funding to further these efforts in Kansas.”

KCSDV working with the CCHD will use a data-driven approach to address its ability to enact large-scale work to identify populations and communities with a high burden of sexual violence. Holt said the KU team also will help KCSDV assess existing partnerships to determine gaps and identify collaboratives to advance health equity. 

Completing the goals of the one-year funding will increase understanding of how to address the inequities that create a disproportionate burden of sexual violence on certain populations.  

“This work will help build the foundation to strengthen primary sexual violence prevention efforts, address health inequities, increase the use of data to inform programmatic decisions and create meaningful engagement with state agencies and organizations,” Holt said.