Sexual Violence Prevention

Sexual violence is a major public health problem. Many victims are under the age of 18. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (found here) shows:

  • 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men experience sexual violence in their lifetime.
  • Sexual violence is common in youth and is usually committed by someone the victim knows.
  • Adolescents who experience sexual violence are likely to become victims again as adults.


The Department of State Health Services, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault work to stop sexual violence before it occurs. Positive Youth Development approaches help decrease rates of sexual violence. We want to:

  • Promote social norms that protect against violence;
  • Teach skills that promote social emotional learning;
  • Provide opportunities to support girls and young women; and
  • Create protective environments.
Select community sexual assault programs will focus on:
  • Activities at the individual, relationship, and community levels.
  • Prevention Principles from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Programs must collect data on select outcomes and measure change. Sexual assault programs will use the following activities and community change strategies to achieve the goals for this program:

Approved Activities

  • Educational seminars
  • Training programs for professionals
  • Training programs for students and college campus personnel

Community Change Strategies

  • Coalition Building
  • Community Mobilization
  • Policy Education
  • Social Norms Change

    We recommend the following strategies:

    • Know your community – through an active, ongoing process identify community readiness for change.
    • Cultivate relationships – cultivate inclusive and respectful relationships within the community with intentionality.
    • Youth guided – promote opportunities for youth to inform, plan, and lead community-level work.
    • Foster supportive environments – encourage conversations that value all voices and support positive change.
    • Foster cross collaboration – knowing the causes of violence and things that can protect people is important. Violence takes many forms including sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and bullying. These forms of violence often share the same root causes. Identify and foster partnerships that align with sexual violence risk and protective factors. Support mutual collaboration and collective action while honoring the group’s capacity.
    • Action oriented – cultivate and support the progressions of community-based initiatives based on readiness.
    • Community ownership and leadership – foster shared decision making to strengthen leadership and sustainability. Highlight, enhance, respect, and celebrate progress.  

    Other agencies working to end sexual violence include:  

    Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) – TAASA wants to end sexual violence in Texas through education, prevention and advocacy. TAASA provides training on prevention efforts and help to sexual assault programs. (TAASA's website)  

    Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) – TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships. It supports service providers. It works on strategic prevention efforts. It creates opportunities for freedom from domestic violence. (TCFV’s website)  


    For more information, please contact us at:  


    Texas Department of State Health Services
    Maternal & Child Health
    PO Box 149347, Mail Code 1922
    Austin, TX 78714-9347
    (512) 776-7373: Phone
    (512) 458-7658: Fax


    External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These external links may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information about Maternal and Child Health or information regarding adolescent health in Texas, please email or call (512) 776-7373.

    Last updated March 3, 2021