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What is Primary Prevention?

We believe domestic violence is a public health issue that can be prevented through environmental, social, and systematic change. Primary prevention—preventing first-time occurrences of violence before it happens—focuses on reducing risk factors (things that make violence more likely to occur) and increasing protective factors (things that make violence less likely to occur).

Risk Factors

  • Low self-esteem
  • Low income, unemployment, or economic insecurity
  • Low academic achievement
  • Substance use
  • Depression, anger, hostility, anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Emotional dependence/insecurity
  • Strict adherence to traditional gender roles
  • Desire for power/control
  • Being a victim of abuse
  • Marital conflict/instability
  • Unhealthy family relationships
  • Weak community sanctions against violence 

Protective Factors 

  • High self-esteem
  • Emotional stability
  • Coping skills
  • Education
  • School connectedness
  • Job security/satisfaction
  • Economic security
  • Good physical health
  • Strong communication skills
  • Healthy family relationships
  • Equity in intimate relationships
  • Marital stability
  • Close friendships
  • Strong positive role models 

Prevail currently has several primary prevention initiatives aimed at preventing violence before it happens. 

For more information on these programs or other ways to get involved in prevention efforts, contact Kelly Growden, Primary Prevention Specialist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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