Written by: Jennifer F. Tofaeono, Ex Dir
The Alliance attended a pre-conference session during the National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC) hosted by Valor to learn more about CDC’s Rape Prevention and Education Program (RPE), during August 22, 2023 – August 24, 2023, The RPE seeks to build and support sexual violence prevention efforts at our local level, including sexual assault coalitions, such as the Alliance.
During the meeting we were tasked to sit with other Coalitions across the United States, as well as researchers, and Department of Health organizations working on RPE Programs. Included was a RPE National Dialogued hosted by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center on August 21, 2023. Participants were asked to explore and frame messages about the work we do to find common ground in a charged climate. We were asked how challenges affecting new or longer-term partnerships during this current time. Members in our group discussed how relationship building takes time, but we recognize it is the key. Another challenge has been using funder jargon that does not connect in communities to do the work. Although we spent time focusing on challenges, we also talked about successes, was the ability to build relationships that were sustainable outside of government or legislative goals and requirements. It meant people were connected to seeing the best for their community, not because of where funding or legislative requirements flowed, but because they understood the issues.
The CDC RPE project thru the Alliance will be based on holding conversations. It is essential to have discussions in the community to understand what rape prevention in American Samoa is. How do we define it, what would make it successful for victims of Rape, and their families. We ask that you follow us as we continue to unpack these discussions. If you would like to learn more about the CDC RPE project please visit: Rape Prevention and Education Program |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC