"Time to get cracking"

"Time to get cracking"

The challenge of developing best practice in Australian sexual assault prevention education

Susan Evans, Chris Krogh and Moira Carmody

ACSSA Issues No. 11 — December 2009
"Time to get cracking"

Governments across Australia acknowledge that the prevention of violence against women is a key priority for action. Consequently, the Social Justice and Social Change Research Centre and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) were commissioned to complete a one-year project to develop and trial a National Sexual Assault Prevention Education (SAPE) Framework. The resulting report, Framing Best Practice: National Standards for the Primary Prevention of Sexual Assault Through Education (Carmody et al., 2009), recommended the development of the National Sexual Assault Prevention Education Standards to provide a framework to guide current and new programs in developing "best practice" based on international and local research evidence.

In this paper, three of the authors of the standards discuss a number of challenges that programs are likely to face in the effort to formulate best practice in sexual assault prevention education. The discussion is based on findings from interviews conducted with 32 prevention educators and program writers during a research project in which questions were asked about program development. Some of the challenges include: the distinctiveness of the prevention education role, conceptual underpinnings in programs, program development and evaluation, working in schools, choosing a pedagogical approach to work with young people, and program adaptation for the purposes of cultural relevance. In addressing each of these challenges, connections are made between what interviewees said and what is communicated in the standards. The aim of the paper is less with positioning the standards as the final word on best practice, and more with arguing the need for further debate, discussion and action to develop best practice in sexual assault prevention education.

Authors and Acknowledgements

Dr Susan Evans, Christopher Krogh and Associate Professor Moira Carmody are at the Social Justice & Social Change Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, Australia.

This research project on which this Issues paper is based was commissioned by the National Association of Services against Sexual Violence (NASASV) with funding from the Office for Women, located in the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). The material and opinions expressed in this paper are the views of the researchers and not NASASV or FaHCSIA.

Publication details

ACSSA Issues
No. 11
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, December 2009.
23 pp.
Suggested citation:

Evans, S., Krogh, C., & Carmody, M. (2009) "Time to get cracking": The challenge of developing best practice in Australian sexual assault prevention education (ACSSA Issues No. 11). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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