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Case Study of Community-Level Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention: Using Concept Mapping to Evaluate Community Narratives Over Time

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The purpose of this study was to: (1) evaluate the promise of concept mapping for generating the conceptual domain and attributions of feasibility, effectiveness, and community support across two points in time; and (2) to determine if and how community narratives may shift over time with exposure to community-level prevention initiatives. The study employed concept mapping methodology to learn how two towns in rural New England perceived domestic and sexual violence first in 2016 with no community intervention, and again in 2018 after implementing Green Dot Community, a community-level DSV prevention initiative. Samples were comprised of adults who had resided in their respective town for at least one year. This exploratory study found that over time, collective efficacy seemed to increase, with participants coming to view it as the responsibility of sectors throughout the community to address DSV. Social norms promoting that “DSV is not tolerated” and that “everyone has a role to play” in preventing DSV also seemed to increase, with strategies becoming more comprehensive, collaborative, and focused on primary prevention. Study findings may be attributable to Green Dot Community implementation given the correspondence of findings to intended program effects. However alternative explanations remain plausible and are discussed. This study offers a starting point for evaluating community-level prevention initiatives using concept mapping methodology. Future studies can learn from the methodological limitations presented here to produce more definitive findings when applying this method to address social problems in communities.

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for this study was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Grant CE002652, Victoria Banyard (PI). The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Correspondence to Jessica Burnham.

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Burnham, J., Banyard, V., Ast, R.S. et al. Case Study of Community-Level Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention: Using Concept Mapping to Evaluate Community Narratives Over Time. J Fam Viol 37, 43–57 (2022).

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