Health Education & Promotion

Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.” IPV can occur in heterosexual or same-sex relationships and does not require sexual intimacy.

Sexual Violence includes any forced or coerced sexual activity without someone’s consent.

Why is this a focus of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)?

Everyone deserves healthy and safe relationships! Unfortunately, relationship and sexual violence are more common than most people realize and are considered serious public health problems. Decades of research have shown that children who experience abuse and violence, or are witness to violence in their family, can have harmful and life- long physical, emotional, and mental health consequences. Teens and young adults who experience relationship abuse, or are abusive to others in their early relationships, are more at risk for becoming a future victim or perpetrator of abuse in their later relationships.

How is KCHD addressing this issue?

Relationship and sexual violence are both preventable. KCHD believes in Primary Prevention, which means stopping violence before it starts. In order to do this, we must change conditions and systems that normalize or permit these types of violence to occur. To work toward accomplishing this goal, KCHD works with a variety of community partners, such as healthcare agencies, K-12 schools, social service agencies, colleges and universities and many others. KCHD helps create “systems level” change in the community by connecting these various agencies, gathering data, and coordinating their efforts strategically in order to produce maximum collective impact.

Some current examples of this work include: Creating surveys for the community that gather important data that will be used to better understand the issue of sexual violence and to help direct efforts in the most effective ways possible; Working with a healthcare organization to train their employees in sexual violence prevention; and Working with a university to create and implement a sexual violence prevention training workshop for all new students.

Healthy and Safe Relationship Education Initiatives Offered by KCHD

Sexual Assault Prevention Action Team (SAPAT)

SAPAT is a coalition that started in 1998 and consists of organizations, businesses and interested individuals who work to collaborate, educate, and create holistic change to eliminate sexual violence in Kent County. SAPAT is currently in the process of evaluating their goals, objectives, and direction. There will be a “reboot” of the group sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. Please check out our website at for more information.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Click on the links below to read past- year issues of SAPAT’s SAAM Newsletters.

For more information about our programs or if your agency or organization is interested in collaborating in our efforts, contact:

Lauren Czarnowczan | 

Fact Sheets