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"The future depends on what we do in the present."   ~Mahatma Gandhi

How can violence be prevented before it begins?

To guide our prevention work, we are inspired by the Prevention Institute to define prevention as “building resilience to take action and end violence before it begins.”  To shift our perspective to prevent violence before it begins, we focus on rethinking and reframing our anti-domestic violence work through individual practice and collective efforts.

Domestic violence is a serious public health issue that calls for individual, relational, community, and societal approaches to stopping violence before it starts. By shifting our lens and focusing on community organizing, developing an understanding and awareness of intersections of oppression, examining and working to shift social norms, and progressing towards a culture of reflection together we can move forward to a domestic violence free Wisconsin.

Our Prevention Team has encountered and envisions programs and projects that rethink and reframe intervention approaches to encompass prevention. Examples could include a financial literacy skills-building program that includes all women, not solely survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and public media campaigns that focus on what we want in the world instead of what we want to stop. At the core of prevention we seek to engage everyone in making change, reaching all aspects of our communities in addition to advocates and survivors. Promising prevention strategies work with people and systems to challenge gender, race, and class stereotypes and oppressive norms while defining new ways to be a more positive, equitable and just society.

Click to view all Prevention Resources

Selected Resources

Prevention Information and Feedback Listening Sessions - May 2016

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin coordinated listening sessions to talk with domestic violence and sexual assault experts, culturally specific program providers, and youth coordinators around the state, to get information and recommendations from participants about culturally appropriate prevention programming and practice that can support healthy vibrant relationships and violence free communities.

Discovery Dating - Teen Dating Violence Prevention

Discovery Dating is a healthy relationship development tool created by Wise Women Gathering Place (WWGP) Director, Alice Skenandore. It provides a process for exploration of personal values, discernment of character traits of others, and practice of informed decision making.

Discovery Dating details steps which enable the student to predict repercussions of certain choices and the benefits of true partnership based upon discernment of facts and information.

Discovery Dating has been used with full or partial implementation in myriad settings, including elementary school classrooms, educational sessions for mothers receiving public benefits, youth clubs, high school enrichment offerings, and women’s support groups. Detailed instructions for implementing 14 weekly sessions in a classroom are available; however the lessons may be adjusted or combined to suit varying schedules. 

For more information contact Jen Schanen at Wise Women Gathering Place. 
Phone: (920)490-0627.

Preventing Teen Dating Violence with Rural Youth - Youth Action Committee

The Youth Action Committee (YAC) is a school-based, youth-driven, teen dating violence prevention project funded through DELTA. The project is located in the rural Wisconsin community of Chippewa Falls and offered through Chippewa County‘s alternative high school as a two-semester class that allows juniors and seniors to earn service learning credit. 

For more information about YAC, contact Denise Kervin at Family Support Center. 

Phone: (715) 723-1138

Primary Prevention Basics

This one page handout describes the core elements of prevention of domestic violence including definitions, helpful models, the prevention to intervention continuum and comparisons with other social change movements.

Prevention Exercises

Exercises are a fun and accessible way to teach and learn about primary prevention that can be repeatedly used to keep people thinking about social change in their personal and professional lives. Try these with community groups, CCR teams, volunteers and staff, etc. 

Forward To A Domestic Violence-Free Wisconsin: Statewide Plan for the Primary Prevention of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a critical public health issue that calls for community-oriented approaches to stopping violence before it can begin. In 2006 the Governor’s Council Prevention Committee began meeting to create a statewide Primary Prevention of Domestic Violence Plan, resulting in the approval in April 2009 of a five-year strategic plan. This plan is currently using a public health approach to benefit the largest group possible; it builds the capacity of individuals, organizations, and systems to more effectively identify, implement, and evaluate strategies that can prevent first-time perpetration. The development and implementation of this plan would not have been possible without support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention DELTA project, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Domestic Violence Program of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

Forward Wisconsin Initiative

The Forward Wisconsin Initiative: a Shared Vision for Preventing Interpersonal Violence is a project that brings together lead agencies in Wisconsin in the broad field of interpersonal violence – child maltreatment, domestic violence, elder abuse, and sexual violence – to maximize efforts to change social norms and community tolerance for violence.   

Nine Principles of Effective Prevention Programs

The CDC DELTA-funded projects across the country use nine principles as a guide in the development of their prevention programming.

Prevent Connect is a national online project dedicated to the primary prevention of violence against women. Gain access to more prevention resources, and information on web conferences by visiting their site!

Coalition Chronicles 34-3: Focus on Healthy Teen Relationships

This issue of the Chronicles shares resources and ideas about how to support teens and how to recognize signs of abuse.  It also highlights some recent teen dating violence prevention initiatives that WI communities have engaged in, including the Growing Roots grant and the work of its recipients; the Teen Council and it’s September retreat; and the Summit on Healthy Teen Relationships coming up in April 2016. It also showcases local programs and initiatives, and features teen/youth voices as survivors and as organizers and activists in the intervention and prevention of violence.

Coalition Chronicles 31-1: Taking the Pulse-Evaluation Resources and Insights

Crafting a concise plan into programming that includes evaluation can have a tremendous impact on services and all the work we do.  WCADV has begun thinking about evaluation as a wraparound effort – assessment, implementation and reflection.  Evaluation is the work we do first and the decisions we make to get a project going.  It’s connected to our daily, weekly or monthly endeavors to accomplish our goals.  And it is ways we measure if we succeed and to what degree.

Coalition Chronicles 30-3: Organizing: Power to the People to Prevent Domestic Violence

This Coalition Chronicles is a project of WCADV’s Prevention Workgroup and represents the final entry of a year-long series on Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Coalition Chronicles 30-2: Primary Prevention Building Blocks: Changing Social Norms

Violence against women, and all types of interpersonal violence, is also supported by social norms. Norms are standards, attitudes, and beliefs – rooted in culture and tradition – that are so imbedded in our daily lives that we often aren’t conscious of the role they play in influencing the way we act and shaping how we see the world. Norms are much more than just habits; yet as we’ve seen with norms related to smoking, they can be shifted. This issue of Coalition Chronicles explores how we can do that.

Coalition Chronicles 30-1: Violence Prevention Fundamentals – Building a Foundation

Can we end domestic violence?  We must prevent it from happening in the first place.  All WCADV journals for this year (2011) will focus on the topic of PREVENTION!  Enjoy the first of three editions.

Coalition Chronicles 29-4: Connected Cultures

December 2010 Issue: Through WCADV's Connected Cultures Leadership Institute (CCLI), we engaged in a year-long educational process with survivors of violence and/or women from communities of color. Many of the 2010 CCLI graduates contributed to this issue of the WCADV Coalition Chronicles.

25 Ways to Prevent Teen Dating and Sexual Violence

This one page document lists 25 ways YOU can prevent teen dating and sexual violence.  These action steps are relevant for EVERYONE.  It's a great way to get discussion going and action happening during February and throughout the year.  Talk with others about more ways you can help stop the cycle of violence. 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: The DELTA Project

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promotes the primary prevention of Intimate Partner Violence by providing funding, networking opportunities, training, and technical assistance to 14 state-level DV coalitions through the Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA) program.  WCADV is pleased to be a part of the DELTA program. To learn more, please see:


One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising is a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Its name acknowledges that over one billion women and girls will experience sexual violence in their lifetime.

From the One Billion Rising Website:


For the fourth year of the campaign, the One Billion Rising's global coordinators chose to continue the theme of Revolution as an escalation of the first three stages: One Billion Rising (2013), One Billion Rising for Justice (2014), and One Billion Rising: Revolution (2015). 

We've danced. We've demanded justice. We've demanded changes. This year we are radicalising our actions—enlarging, deepening, and expanding the revolution. Let's continue to radically shift consciousness and be braver, bolder, more creative and determined with our actions. Focus on the most marginalized women and girls to bring about true, long lasting change.

To learn more about the movement, visit the One Billion Rising website.

Prevention: Men as Allies

November 27, 2012 webinar recording

This webinar explored promising local initiatives that engage men, and ways to develop an approach to mobilizing men in your community.  Presented by Molly Zemke, Prevention Program Coordinator from Domestic Abuse Intervention Services.

View and Listen

Prevention: Voices of Men - Stepping Up and Speaking Out

December 12, 2012 webinar recording

The Fox Valley community has mobilized men and boys to address violence against women and girls. This webinar discussed current initiatives undertaken by Voices of Men and ways the initiative might be replicated in other communities. Presented by: Dave Willems, Fox Valley Voices of Men member, volunteer, and program consultant; and Julie Fevola, Executive Director, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services.

View and Listen