Sexual violence prevention isn't just the absence of violence. It's also giving youth the opportunity to practice skills for creating healthy relationships, and empowering communities to lead prevention initiatives for greater connectedness, safer spaces, and increased economic stability to benefit all Coloradoans.
The Sexual Violence Prevention Program (SVP Program) recognizes the genocide and enslavement of black, indigenous and people of color shapes United States history and our current societal context. This racist history has built and maintained inequitable social, economic, and environmental systems for communities of color. These social inequities have greater influence on health than either individual choices or health care access. Equitable policies, practices and systems improve opportunities for all Coloradans.
The SVP Program takes an intersectional approach to our work, prioritizing race and then layering other forms of oppression. Oppressive systems give power and privilege to certain groups over others based on identities including: race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and class. Intersectionality appreciates that all individuals have a number of identities. People of color whose identities intersect with those of other discriminated social statuses experience mistreatment that is amplified by the interaction with racism.
Racism reinforces systems of oppression and increases likelihood of injury and violence within communities of color. Stigma and discrimination intersect and worsen these negative health outcomes. It is important for public health to address race and ethnicity alongside gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and other identities. Understanding of these larger systems must inform strategies to research and prevent violence.