Sexual Violence Prevention

With support from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, LiveWell Douglas County formed a Sexual Violence Prevention Work Group to conduct a community assessment of risk and protective factors related to sexual violence in Lawrence, Kansas. The work group utilized the approach laid out in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence.” This approach underscores the interconnectedness of different forms of violence, and the importance of moving upstream to address risk and protective factors in order to prevent violence from occurring. 

This assessment presents data regarding risk and protective factors related to sexual violence from local, state and national health agencies, as well as from a community survey completed by 290 residents specifically exploring risk and protective factors of community support and connectedness, community perceptions of violence, and harmful gender stereotypes about sexual violence, specifically rape myths.

Work group members reviewed existing data, designed and disseminated the survey, and reviewed responses.

Key risk factors for sexual violence that have been prioritized for action include:

  • Gender pay gap/ income inequality
  • Poverty
  • High rates of residents experiencing severe  housing cost burden
  • High alcohol outlet density


Work Group Leadership

Co-Chair: Chrissy Heikkila, The Sexual Trauma & Abuse CARE Center