One day, a fisherman was fishing from a river bank when he saw someone being swept downstream, struggling to keep their head above water. The fisherman jumped in, grabbed the person, and helped them to shore. The survivor thanked the fisherman and left, and the hero dried himself off and continued fishing. Soon he heard another cry for help and saw someone else being swept downstream. He immediately jumped into the river again and saved that person as well. This scenario continued all afternoon. As soon as the fisherman returned to fishing, he would hear another cry for help and would wade in to rescue another wet and drowning person. Finally, the fisherman said to himself, “I can’t go on like this. I’d better go upstream and find out what is happening.”
This public health analogy of “moving upstream” to prevent tragedies from occurring downstream is taught in many public health courses and is relevant for any dialogue on sexual violence prevention. Crisis Intervention Services believes that instead of telling people how not to be sexual assaulted we need to be having conversations about what we can do to change the behaviors surrounding sexual assault. Sexual violence is preventable.