Arizona is experiencing a public health crisis due to sexual violence (SV) with 42.6% of women and 33.4% of men reporting experiences of SV. Our Indigenous, rural, and Spanish-speaking communities experience SV at considerably higher rates than the general population with between one-third and two-thirds of these communities reporting SV at least once in their lives. To achieve health equity and prevent SV, we must work to eliminate the avoidable social and economic disparities that lead to these unjust circumstances and increase economic and healthcare opportunities.
Arizona’s high SV rates are linked to low social determinants of health and oppressive social and governmental systems. Many of the risk factors in these communities are correlated with generations of colonization and generational trauma in Indigenous communities, poverty in rural areas that lead to low quality economic, xenophobic policy that marginalizes Spanish-speakers, and health and social services that are not effective in protecting against SV. Considering the high-risk social factors for SV in these communities, we must invest in preventative services for SV in Arizona.
However, it is unknown how much capacity service providers in Arizona have to primarily prevent SV. Moreover, the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) has minimal experience training, offering technical assistance, and collaborating with SV partners for primary SV prevention. We require a readiness assessment and evidence-based approach to expanding Arizona’s SV prevention work. The purpose of the proposed project will utilize a public health approach to for a primary prevention capacity assessment for SV by 1. assessing our state coalition staff’s expertise and dedicated time to address SV prevention; 2. assess our existing partnerships and gaps in services for SV prevention; 3. assess our state coalition’s access to reliable and up-to-date data on SV and SV primary prevention in the State of Arizona; 4. assess our technical assistance provision to ensure the efficacy of this approach. The outcomes will include: increased understanding of staff expertise and available resources; increased understanding of available data sources used to identify population(s) and communities of focus; increased understanding of current partnerships, and how these partnerships are/are not meeting the current and future primary prevention and health equity work needs; and increased understanding of current technical assistance provision and how well it incorporates health equity.