Interpersonal Violence

In Colorado, the lifetime prevalence of sexual violence by any perpetrator for women is 23.8 percent, which is higher than the national prevalence of 18.3 percent. The 2010 NISVS indicates the lifetime prevalence of sexual violence acts other than rape for women in Colorado is 47.4 percent, versus 44.6 percent in the nation as a whole and for men in Colorado is 26.5 percent, versus 22.2 percent for the nation as a whole.

Sexual violence is also a prevalent among Colorado’s youth. As reported in the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey of over 220 schools and 40,000 youth across the state, among high school students who dated someone in the past year, almost one in ten (9.6%) were physically hurt on purpose by the person they were dating. An estimated 6.6% of high school students reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to at some point in their lives.

While these data provide some context to the prevalence of sexual violence in Colorado, data on the magnitude of sexual violence remains incomplete. Measuring the true magnitude of sexual violence is difficult, due to issues of nondisclosure, different data collection and analysis methodologies, and the varying definitions of sexual violence.

Long-term Objectives:
  • Decrease in percentage of youth experiencing forced sexual intercourse
  • Decrease in rates of any sexual violence victimization within the past 12 months
  • Decrease in teen dating violence victimization
  • Decrease in domestic violence 911 calls
  • Decrease in emergency department visits due to intimate partner violence
  • Decrease in suspected intimate partner violence cases in emergency departments
Source of Strength Trainer Manual

Source of Strength is a primary prevention youth suicide program that is listed on the SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Program and Practices (NREPP). Sources of Strength has shown impact on school connectedness, youth and adult connectedness and other outcomes. In August 2015, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment began using funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Rape Prevention and Education program to pilot Sources of Strength with seven schools across Colorado. The theory underlying this project is based on the idea of shared protective factors, or things that make it less likely to experience violence or things that build resilience. School connectedness has been identified by the CDC as a shared protective factor for both suicide and sexual violence, as well as bullying, youth violence, and teen dating violence. Because Sources of Strength has demonstrated impact on school connectedness, Colorado has elected to pilot this project and evaluate for sexual violence indicators.
Source of Strength Field Guide

A Positive School Climate