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Commentary | Nov. 2, 2020

Prevention Community of Practice Grows to More than 5,000 Members

DoD SAPR Connect. Sharing ideas to eliminate sexual assault.

Across the Department of Defense (DoD), those working to prevent sexual assault are increasingly joining SAPR Connect, the only DoD-wide virtual sexual assault prevention community of practice. SAPR Connect now has more than 5,000 members from the DoD services, National Guard, Coast Guard, and many DoD offices with equities in violence prevention. Since the DoD Prevention Plan of Action was released in April 2019, membership has climbed nearly 30 percent.

“We are excited to see this membership surge for several reasons,” said Dr. Suzanne Holroyd, Senior Prevention Program Manager, DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO). “This growing SAPR Connect membership tells us that the DoD community increasingly sees the value of connecting with others working this critical topic. This is important because effective prevention efforts will expand more quickly across DoD if we have a strong, unified prevention community all using and sharing research-based solutions.”

One reason SAPR Connect was established in 2014 by DoD SAPRO was to foster this sharing of resources and ideas. Research-based resources are being developed across DoD as well as by civilian organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). SAPR Connect features several CDC products, such as “STOP SV: A Technical Package to Prevent Sexual Violence,“ which offers easy-to-understand research-based strategies to address prevention challenges. Also, since the sharing of program updates and tools can strengthen a community, SAPR Connect has a growing collection of newsletters prepared by the services and SAPRO, all with insights designed to improve prevention efforts. SAPR Connect members can also post or respond to a question in the Prevention Chat Forum, or upload a resource or product to share. SAPR Connect members must have Common Access Card (CAC) access, keeping this an internal DoD community. 

SAPR Connect members can also access a wide-range of educational resources to build their knowledge and skills of effective prevention. “For our efforts to have the desired impact, we need to ensure our prevention personnel have the required knowledge and skills,” said Dr. Katie Ports, Senior Research Psychologist, DoD SAPRO. “To that end, we regularly host webinars with internal and external prevention experts who help participants understand and apply what they learned to support and implement prevention activities within our DoD community.” The webinars are recorded and posted on SAPR Connect for later access by members.

Individuals within the DoD community (with a CAC) can join SAPR Connect by visiting and following the instructions on the Prevention tab.

See the SAPR Connect one page flyer here