Биљана Симеуновић-Патић

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Although the issues of etiology and control of sexual violence have attracted considerable scientific attention over the past decades sexual victimization is still a serious problem in many countries around the world affecting particularly young females. Along with the tightening of repressive responses toward sexual crimes and improvements of victim protection, assistance and support measures there is a rising interest for development of prevention programs, including a long neglected primary prevention interventions. Bearing in mind the nature of sexual victimisation, its severe and long-lasting consequences and its huge dark figure, primary prevention appears to be optimal, cost-effective and most promising response in this moment, regardless of the common scepticism around the effectiveness and evaluation of primary prevention initiatives. The paper discusses the scope and significance of primary prevention within the spectrum of societal responses toward sexual violence, as well as the importance of socio-ecological platform for sexual violence prevention comprising of the measures that target both the individuals and communities aiming to change cultural norms and attitudes supportive of sexual violence and violence against women. Particular attention is paid to contemporary prevention approaches and models based on empirical evidence on risk and protective factors, and to evidentially effective primary prevention interventions.


sexual violence, sexual victimisation, factors of sexual violence, socio-ecological model of violence, primary prevention.

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