Retrospective evaluation of Project Envision: A community mobilization pilot program to prevent sexual violence in New York City

Lily Glenn, Laura Fidler, Meghan O’Connor, Deborah Fry, Mary Haviland, Tamara Pollak, Victoria Frye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Sexual violence is a public health problem associated with short- and long-term physical and mental health consequences. Most interventions that aim to prevent sexual violence before it occurs target individual-level change or bystander training. Community-level interventions, while increasingly recommended in the sexual violence prevention field, are rarely documented in peer-reviewed literature. This paper evaluates Project Envision, a 6-year pilot initiative to address social norms at the root of sexual violence through coalition building and community mobilization in three New York City neighborhoods. Evaluation methods included a systematic literature review, archival source document review, and key informant interviews. Three themes emerged from the results: community identity and implications for engagement; capacity and readiness for community mobilization and consequences for implementation; and impacts on participants. Lessons learned include the limitations of using geographic boundaries to structure community interventions in urban settings; carefully considering whether communities should be mobilized around an externally-identified issue; translating theoretical frameworks into concrete tasks; assessing all coalition partners for readiness; and recognizing that community organizing is a skill that requires investment from funders. We conclude that Project Envision showed promise for shifting institutional norms towards addressing root causes of sexual violence in addition to providing victim services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue numberFebruary 2018
Early online date1 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • sexual violence
  • primary prevention
  • community mobilization


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