Thursday, April 8

MHS Essay

A few people have asked (via email) about my MHS essay.

In case you're curious, I wrote about the need for better sexual assault data in NYC. We need better data so that we can evaluate prevention programs. Without a baseline, it's very difficult to determine if a program has been effective.

Wanna read the first few paragraphs?
Either way, they're included below.
Figure I should get a little extra mileage out of all that work (you know, in addition to my masters degree).


There is little debate that sexual violence is a serious problem that dramatically impacts the lives of many women, men, and children each year in the United States. Numerous studies have shown that survivors of sexual violence suffer from a plethora of problems, including physical injuries, mental health issues, substance abuse, and financial strain (Choudhary, 2008; Conoscenti, 2005; Kaukinen, 2005). Recognizing the impact sexual violence can have upon both individuals and communities, the feminist movement has been working since the early 1970s to “reform [the] criminal codes defining the crimes of sexual assault and other crimes against women” and to establish a system of community-based services for victims (Kilpatrick, 2004).

Although the advocacy and direct service organizations that arose from this movement have done much to address the long-term needs of survivors, efforts to impact sexual violence on a primary prevention level have been hampered by lack of coordination and a serious dearth of relevant community-level data.Without relevant baseline data, large-scale prevention programs cannot be adequately evaluated.uch evaluation is a key component of any new program and is necessary in order to determine a program’s effectiveness, success, and possible scale up/replicability. Thus, as primary prevention remains the ultimate goal of sexual violence advocates, lack of relevant data presents a serious problem................