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Rape Prevention Education

Sexual violence (SV) perpetration and victimization is a significant public health problem that requires a public health approach to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors related to SV. This includes a range of activities to address the way individual, relationship, community, and societal factors impact SV. This approach is more likely to prevent SV across a lifetime than any single intervention and is also more likely to benefit the largest number of people and reduce SV. 

The Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program is a federally funded program that focuses on preventing sexual violence (SV) perpetration and victimization. The RPE program utilizes a public health approach to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors related to SV. Through the implementation and evaluation of selected prevention strategies, Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is expanding strategies and evaluation at the community-level as well as a comprehensive approach across the SEM. Education, training and evaluation are a cornerstone of TDH’s efforts to prevent SV before it occurs.   

Sexual assault data in Tennessee reflect the need for continued efforts for the primary prevention of SV statewide. Prevention is a key factor in reducing rates of SV victimization and perpetration and impacting the risk and protective factors related to SV. 

According to 2018 data, in Tennessee:

  • 6,106 people reported being sexually assaulted in 2018 in Tennessee.
  • 14-17 year olds had the highest rate of sexual assault compared to other age groups.
  • Females were approximately eight times as likely as males to be sexually assaulted.
  • Blacks were almost twice as likely as whites to be sexually assaulted
  • To see more information on 201 sexual assault data, please follow this link: 2018 Sexual Assault Data

The Rape Prevention Education (RPE) program efforts address perpetration, victimization, bystander attitudes and behavior and social norms.

Evidence based programs

TDH RPE sub-recipients implement the following programs/strategies to address sexual violence prevention throughout the state of Tennessee: 

Athletes as Leaders - This program focuses on the following: 

  • Building strong teams and fostering healthy relationships among female-identified athletes and their peers
  • Building trust, positive culture, and set norms for behavior within the team, school and the larger community
  • Defining healthy and unhealthy behaviors in relationships
  • Challenging harmful gender stereotypes and media messages
  • For more information on this program please visit Athletes as Leaders

Coaching Boys into Men - This program focuses on the following: 

  • Engaging men and boys as allies by modeling positive masculinity
  • Decreasing negative bystander behavior and decreasing dating violence perpetrations, including phsycial, sexual, and emotional abuse, among male high school athletes
  • Preventing sexual violence by demonsrating athletes' role in preventing violence and supporing victims while also teaching skills and reinforcing norms that reduce their own risk for future perpetration
  • For more information on this program please visit Coaches Corner or download the brochure

Safe Dates - This program focuses on the following:

  • Raising students' awareness of what constitutes healthy and abusive dating relationships
  • Raising students' awareness of dating abuse and its causes and consequences
  • Equipping students with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends in abusive dating relationships
  • Equipping students with skills to develop healthy dating relationships, including positive communication, anger management and conflict resolution
  • For more information on this program please visit Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation or download the Safe Dates Brochure

Safe Bar - A new initiative and collaboration between the Sexual Assault Center and the TN Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, which focuses on the following:

  • Training local bars and restaurants in bystander intervention and raising awareness about alcohol's role in sexual assault
  • Engaging bar owners and staff in doing their part to partner with the community to precent sexual violence

The training offered to bars and restaurants is a free in-person training facilitated by experts in the field of sexual assault and sexual violence prevention. There is also a supplemental 1/2 hour online training that is available to participants. Once 50% of staff is trained, establishments receive a Safe Bar window cling and drug-detecting coasters. These coasters will detect the presence of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and Ketamine. 

The in-person training provides more information on the following topics:

  • Recognizing signs of possible sexual predators in restaurant or bar settings
  • Bystander intervention techniques
  • Alcohol and drug facilitated sexual assaults
  • Creating a safe environment for bar and restuarant patrons
  • For more information on this program please visit Safe Bar or Protect Respect

Shifting Boundaries - This program focuses on the following:

If you would like more information, please contact Kristyn Long at or 615-532-7768.