The Rape Victims Support Center (RVSC) is a program of the Puerto Rico Department of Health responsible of sexual violence’s (SV) prevention strategies island wide by Law requirement since 1976. We are the third most densely populated jurisdiction of the United States in a limited geographic area which is both a challenge and an opportunity. Our program offers educational seminars, training for professionals, students and campus personnel, development of informational materials, and a 24 hour orientation hotline services. It also keeps statistics on SV incidence. As a program of the Department of Health we have a privileged position to implement public policy for the prevention of sexual violence at the health facilities, including emergency rooms. The program has a central office at the metro area and five satellite regional offices. It has six operational units (Education, Hotline, Interagency, Evaluation, Networking & Communications and Statistics and Surveillance). RVSC administrates RPE-PR program and Rape Prevention Set Aside from the Preventive Health Block Grant since its inception. Our work path not only makes us aware of the importance of addressing the problem of SV from a Public Health perspective, but also guarantees that we have the necessary capabilities to implement large-scale strategies that can bring results at different levels socio-ecological model.
The “Rape Prevention and Education: Using the Best Available Evidence for Sexual Violence” NOFO (CDC-RFA-CE19-1902), bring us the opportunity to continue our effort to conduct several initiatives and strategies to pursue our primary goal of Decrease SV perpetration and victimization in Puerto Rico. RP-PRE funds will finance prevention strategies and evaluation focused in community interventions. The strategies will be implemented by our staff located at the 6 regions of the DOH’s RVSC and our SVPPC allies. Among our goals are to: strengthen partnerships to implement our state sexual violence prevention plan and improve coordination of our prevention efforts; use data driven decisions for program delivery based on our indicators and a Gender Observatory that will be developed and track implementation of the work plan and the outcomes using indicators data. We will also increase our evaluation activities updating our Evaluation Enhancement Plan aligned with current NOFO activities.
We project that a budget of $710,098 will make it possible to implement our Work Plan that addressed to increase capacity to access and use data and partnerships to implement community level strategies, increase data driven decision making, implement authorized prevention activities and develop and update a state action plan and an evaluation plan. Also, we will improve our functions and capacities to monitor state-level indicators of sexual violence and protective factors using publicly accessible data, and increase our program evaluation of statewide (territory) sexual violence prevention efforts through sexual violence prevention activities. We are conscious of the importance of designing and include large scale interventions that help us to broaden the spectrum of impact of our program and in this way educate the population and reduce the incidence of sexual violence in Puerto Rico. For that reason, we will implement at least 75% of the activities at the community level.