The majority of teens have been involved in a romantic relationship. The following  brief, Telling It Like It Is: Teen Perspectives on Romantic Relationships, summarizes findings from focus groups that explored what teens themselves have to say about these relationships.  
 
Among the findings:- Teens view respect, trust, and love as essential to healthy relationships.- Teens have a clear understanding and expectation of what defines a healthy romantic relationship.- Teens' relationships typically fall short of their own standards of healthy romantic relationships.- Infidelity, relationship violence, and few role models contribute to teens' low expectations for healthy relationships. Telling It Like It Is: Teen Perspectives on Romantic Relationships

The purpose of this project was to determine whether adult sexual assault cases in a Midwestern community were more likely to be investigated and prosecuted after the implementation of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, and to identify the "critical ingredients" that contributed to that increase. The authors found that case progression through the criminal justice system significantly increased pre- to post-SANE, in that more cases reached the "final" stages of prosecution (I.e., conviction at trial and/or guilty plea bargains) post-SANE. The findings of study indicated that the SANE program has been instrumental in the creation of more complete, fully corroborated cases.  A step-by-step toolkit for evaluating the work of SANEs in the criminal justice system is also availalble.

Systems Change Analysis of SANE Programs: Identifying the Mediating Mechanisms of Criminal Justice System Impact

The NIJ-funded Survey of was conducted to estimate the number of unsolved criminal cases containing forensic evidence that had not been submitted to crime laboratories for analysis. Of crimes received by U.S. law enforcement agencies during 2007, there were an estimated total of 33,696 unsolved rapes 73% of which had forensic evidence collected.  State and local law enforcement agencies reported an estimated 27,595 unsolved (18%) rapes that had not been submitted to a crime laboratory. The study explores explanations for evidence backlogs and implications for addressing challenges faced by communities.

The 2007 Survey of Law Enforcement Forensic Evidence Processing

This paper explores how youth and violence have been framed in the media, how the issue of race complicates depictions of youth and violence, and how public attitudes about government can inhibit public support for strategies to effectively prevent violence. Commissioned by UNITY/Prevention Institute and written by the Berkeley Media Studies Group, this paper makes recommendations for the next steps in reframing violence among youth.
Moving From Them to Us: Challenges in Reframing Violence Among Youth

This document will introduce readers to primary prevention and to the concepts, terms and models that comprise this approach. It will explore the movement’s history for lessons learned and talk about how the work of preventing sexual violence connects directly and indirectly to the work that each of us in the movement does. Finally, it will help you talk the talk. We will explore the public health model and associated terminology so that you can use it if you need it (e.g., when talking with funders), but it will not be a main focus.

Tools for Change: An Introduction to the Primary Prevention of Sexual Assault

This Applied Research paper examines tort actions for sexual assault - law suits that seek financial compensation for wrongs that cause injury to the victim. The paper also discusses benefits and drawbacks of tort litigation for sexual assault survivors.
Civil Tort Actions Filed by Victims of Sexual Assault: Promise and Perils

This brief outlines the most promising local prevention strategies and policy changes to prevent child sexual abuse from happening in the first place.  The recommendations are designed to shift social and cultural norms that increase the likelihood of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Sample recommendations include:

  • Decrease the saturation of media messages aimed at children by reviewing and rolling back the legislation that allowed advertising to children especially in children’s television programming.
  • Develop a rapid response media network to respond to breaking news with proactive prevention messages that incorporate an environmental and norms-based understanding of the causes and solutions of abuse.
  • Require staff training in organizations that work with children and youth specifically focused on developmentally appropriate sexuality and sexual behavior.

    With support from the Ms. Foundation, this brief is based on findings from  a convening of national experts and local leaders, expert interviews, and a review of the literature.

Transforming Communities to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: A Primary Prevention Approach

This Applied Research paper provides an overview of how estimates of sexual violence in the United States are produced, with particular emphasis on major sources of rape statistics at the national level.
Understanding National Rape Statistics
 

This Applied Research paper provides a review of the research focusing on LGBT survivors of sexual trauma and offers recommendations for culturally competent service provision to LGBT clients.
Culturally Competent Service Provision to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Survivors of Sexual Violence
 

This Applied Research paper examines the relationship between alcohol and sexual victimization. The paper focuses on victims’ experiences, including resistance during and psychological effects subsequent to alcohol-involved sexual assault incidents.
The Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption and Sexual Victimization

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