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Sexual violence: Raising the conversations, a literature review

This literature review is intended to contribute to efforts to raise awareness and conversations around sexual violence. It is focused on men’s sexual violence against adolescent and adult women. We begin our review by briefly considering the definition of sexual violence, its prevalence, and its impact. In Section 2, following the lead of public health theorists, we use an ecological framework to discuss factors which contribute to – or are protective of – sexual violence. That is, we adopt a multi‐level approach, considering risk factors at societal, community, relationship and individual levels. Although we look at each of these levels in turn, as will become evident, it is also important to consider the interactions between levels. In Section 3, we review evaluations of various attempts to prevent sexual violence. Mostly, these evaluations have focused on individual level prevention efforts: prevention at community and societal levels seem to have received little attention from evaluators. Nevertheless, there are some useful lessons to be gained from the evaluation literature. In section 4, we attempt to integrate the material considered in sections 2 and 3 into a framework proposed by the (US) National Sexual Violence Resource Center (Davis, Parks, & Cohen, 2006). Consistent with a public health approach, the Spectrum of Prevention is a multi‐level model.
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Robertson, N. & Oulton, H. (2008). Sexual violence: Raising the conversations, a literature review. Report prepared for Te Puni Kokiri and The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. Hamilton, New Zealand: Māori and Psychology Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Waikato.
University of Waikato