Sexual violence prevention: The role of stages of change

Victoria Banyard, University of New Hampshire
Robert P. Eckstein, University of New Hampshire - Main Campus
Mary M. Moynihan, University of New Hampshire - Main Campus


Increasing numbers of empirical studies and theoretical frameworks for preventing sexual violence are appearing in the research- and practice-based literatures. The consensus of this work is that although important lessons have been learned, the field is still in the early stages of developing and fully researching effective models, particularly for the primary prevention of this problem in communities. The purpose of this article is to discuss the utility of applying the transtheoretical model of readiness for change to sexual violence prevention and evaluation. A review of this model and its application in one promising new primary prevention program is provided, along with exploratory data about what is learned about program design and effectiveness when the model is used. The study also represents one of the first attempts to operationalize and create specific measures to quantify readiness for change in the context of sexual violence prevention and evaluation. Implications for program development and evaluation research are discussed.