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Making a difference in sexual violence prevention

Released 27/09/16

A new web based tool has been developed to evaluate sexual violence prevention practice.

Developed by ACC, the Making a Difference: Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Toolkit will enable providers of sexual violence prevention activities to measure increases in knowledge, shifts in attitudes and changes in behaviour.

ACC’s Injury Prevention Portfolio Manager – Violence, Mike McCarthy, says the new tool will help agencies focus on primary prevention which is evidence-based, promotes behaviour change and guides funding decisions towards best practise activities.

“Current evaluation of sexual violence prevention is inconsistent and limited to measuring how much participants enjoyed a programme rather than what they got out of it and whether it changed their attitudes and behaviour.”

The development of the Toolkit aligns with ACC’s role as coordinator of the Government‘s response to sexual violence primary prevention activity. It is also an integral part of ACC’s suite of injury prevention initiatives to reduce the incidence of injury and, in this case, harm from sexual violence.

“Our goal is to support children, aged 25 and under, to experience safe, healthy and respectful relationships. As part of our violence prevention initiatives, we want to improve the ability to evaluate sexual violence prevention activities in New Zealand.”

Mr McCarthy says, “If we can stop sexual violence happening in the first place, we won’t need to deal with the consequences of the serious harm sexual violence causes.”

Sexual violence is one of the most costly crimes to individuals and society, with Treasury estimating it costs the New Zealand economy $1.2 billion each year.

In the 2015/16 financial year ACC paid over $83 million on over 20,000 sensitive claims, an increase of 31 percent on the previous year. The average cost of sensitive claims increased by 17 percent between 2015 and 2016.

The Toolkit will assist in ensuring sexual violence prevention activity is focused on behaviour change and that funding across government agencies, including ACC, can be targeted towards effective programmes.

The Toolkit will ensure greater consistency in the evaluation of projects across government and community agencies and provide invaluable insights into what works in sexual violence prevention, says Mike McCarthy.

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