197843 Envisioning a City Without Sexual Violence: Utilizing Participatory Research for Prevention Planning

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meghan O'Connor, MPH, LMSW , New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, New York, NY
Deborah A. Fry, MA, MPH , NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, New York, NY
Aims: To explore the uses of Participatory Action Research methodologies for the planning of sexual violence prevention programs in NYC.

Methods: This study represents the first phase of Project Envision, a five-year primary prevention community development project in three communities in NYC (Lower East Side, South Bronx and Williamsburg). Each site developed a community coalition consisting of rape crisis program staff, community activists and researchers, community groups and members. Two community researchers from each site were trained in participatory research to help each community coalition plan the direction and specifics of a primary prevention plan for each community. Data was collected from the community on the scope and root causes of sexual violence, on the community assets and opportunities for prevention, and on the community's prevention priorities.

Results: The data collected by community researchers helped to inform a comprehensive prevention strategy in each community. Each community's prevention plan is different, allowing for community specific concerns and issues. Yet, there are also core components that all three prevention plans share. The utilization of Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodologies are conducive to the purpose of prevention planning. These methodologies helped engage a wide spectrum of community members and allowed for full community input and ownership of the planning process.

Conclusion: Participatory Action Research is a useful methodology for engaging communities for prevention.

Learning Objectives:
• Describe the participatory action research process including the training of community researchers and the develop of and collaboration with community prevention coalitions. • Identify the key components of each community’s prevention plan. • Describe the potential of PAR for sexual violence prevention planning in other settings.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience working in the field of violence prevention, specifically sexual and domestic violence, as well as experience with community-based particpatory research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.