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About the National Sexual Violence Resource Center
The NSVRC’s Mission is to provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research.
We envision a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are treated with dignity and respect and have full autonomy over their own bodies and sexual expression.
NSVRC believes that through collaboration, prevention, and research-based resources, we are making the world safer and healthier.
NSVRC understands sexual violence to be an overarching term that includes an array of behaviors, both physical and non-physical, that constitute unwanted or age-inappropriate sexual activity that can impact people of any age or gender. We believe that sexual violence is rooted in power inequities and is connected to other forms of oppression including ableism, adultism, ageism, classism, heterosexism, racism, religism, sexism and other constructs that value certain people or groups over others. NSVRC uses its national leadership position to promote dialogue and understanding of sexual violence and its prevention.
NSVRC believes that sexual violence is preventable. We understand sexual violence to be a social justice, public health, criminal justice, and human rights issue and we bring the tools, research, and resources of each of those areas of expertise to promote a coordinated movement. We believe that open and factual conversations, education about healthy relationships, engaging and informing bystanders, and similar strategies contribute to positive and sustainable societal changes. We believe that efforts should simultaneously address the needs of those who have been victimized; treat, manage and successfully reintegrate individuals who sexually offend; and build the capacity of individuals, groups and families, organizations, and communities to prevent sexual violence before any harm occurs.
NSVRC believes that it is imperative to improve responses to those who have been victimized by sexual violence in order to ensure that they are believed, helped, and supported throughout their recovery process. We recognize that survivors are resilient and often find strength at individual, relationship, community, and societal levels following sexual violence. We understand that survivors are unique in how they experience sexual violence and what outcomes they desire in terms of justice, services, and support. We promote responses that are informed by the strengths and needs of survivors and that honor their voices, cultures, choices, and priorities. The quality of response to survivors by loved ones, professionals, social systems, the media, and organizations impacts their healing and also signals other survivors and potential offenders about our societal values and commitment to safety and respect.
NSVRC believes that communication among advocates, researchers, funders, public health professionals, policymakers, culturally specific community-based programs, sex offender treatment and management professionals, national partners, and other key players is critical in creating opportunities for positive changes. NSVRC works with media to better inform the public of their role and responsibility in preventing child sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence; and coordinates national Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April and other prevention campaigns.
NSVRC believes that everyone should have access to information that will allow them to build programs and policies to end sexual violence and serve those who have been impacted. NSVRC acts as a communication hub connecting people with the information, resources, tools, and expertise needed to effectively address and prevent sexual violence in all communities. We are committed to ensuring access to quality resources for all children, teens, young adults, and people in later life. NSVRC uses traditional and emerging forms of communication to create communities of support for preventing sexual violence.
NSVRC believes that all efforts to respond to and prevent sexual violence must be supported by research. NSVRC maintains an extensive library and virtual information bank of current statistics, research, information, speakers and tools on a wide variety of topics pertaining to sexual violence. We assist programs in accessing and contributing to a body of evidence that strengthens our collective efforts.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) opened in July 2000 as a national information and resource hub relating to all aspects of sexual violence. Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, the oldest and one of the largest state sexual assault coalitions, the NSVRC is funded through a cooperative agreement from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention.
The NSVRC staff collects and disseminates a wide range of resources on sexual violence including statistics, research, position statements, statutes, training curricula, prevention initiatives and program information. With these resources, the NSVRC assists coalitions, advocates and others interested in understanding and eliminating sexual violence. The NSVRC has an active and diverse Advisory Council that assists and advises staff and ensures a broad national perspective. The NSVRC also enjoys a strong partnership with state, territory and tribal anti-sexual assault coalitions and allied organizations.
In addition to tracking resources developed throughout the country, the NSVRC publishes a newsletter, The Resource, issues press releases and talking points on current events and coordinates an annual national sexual assault awareness month (SAAM) campaign in April. Additionally, the NSVRC develops original resources to help bridge information gaps, such as conducting research and analysis of underserved populations.
The NSVRC does not provide direct services to sexual assault victims but rather supports those who do, such as coalitions, rape crisis centers, national, state and local agencies and allied programs. The NSVRC refers requests for direct victim’s services to the appropriate state coalition and/or to a local program conveniently located to the caller. A caller looking for services may also access and search the location and phone numbers of state and territory coalitions on this website.
Sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact, ranging from sexist attitudes and actions to rape and murder. Sexual violence can include words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will.
A person may use
- manipulation, or
- coercion to commit sexual violence.
There is a social context that surrounds sexual violence. Social norms that
- condone violence,
- using power over others,
- traditional constructs of masculinity,
- the subjugation of women, and
- silence about violence and abuse contribute to the occurrence of sexual violence.
Oppression in all of its forms is among the root causes of sexual violence. Sexual violence is preventable through collaborations of community members at multiple levels of society—in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, faith settings, workplaces, and other settings. We all play a role in preventing sexual violence and establishing norms of respect, safety, equality, and helping others.
Join our team! Interns and volunteers are an essential part of the NSVRC’s work. They perform a wide variety of responsibilities, including research, writing, and outreach. Positions are available for Spring, Summer, and Fall.
The NSVRC supports two award programs.
Read about the Visionary Voice Awards given each April.
Read about the Gail Burns Smith Award which recognizes people who have made significant contributions to preventing sexual violence through their work to facilitate effective partnerships between advocates working on behalf of victims and survivors and those working in the area of sex offender management and treatment.