Rape Prevention and Education Grant Program

What is RPE?

The Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) Grant is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded project that supports rape prevention and education in all fifty states. Currently in North Dakota, the NDCAWS/CASAND office and nine local agencies receive RPE grant funding.

RPE Funded Local Projects:

Bismarck - Abused Adult Resource Center
Devils Lake - SAFE Alternatives for Abused Families
Fargo - Rape & Abuse Crisis Center
Grand Forks - Community Violence Intervention Center
Jamestown - Safe Shelter
Mercer Co. - Women’s Action and Resource Center
Minot - Domestic Violence Crisis Center
Stanley - Domestic Violence Program of Northwest ND
Valley City - Abused Persons Outreach Center

For more information about National-level RPE work please see "At a Glance". Download or print the full text of RPE: At A Glance.

What is the purpose of RPE?

Sexual violence is a significant public health problem in the United States. Estimates from the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS), cosponsored by the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggest that 302,091 women and 92,748 men are raped each year in the United States. The survey also estimates that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been victims of a completed or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime. In approximately 8 out of 10 cases (83%), the victim knew the perpetrator. In North Dakota, 854 primary victims and 409 secondary victims were served by 18 sexual assault crisis centers throughout the state in 2008.

Sexual violence, including rape, is preventable. Prevention requires understanding the circumstances and factors that influence violence. CDC uses a four-level, social ecological model
to better explain sexual violence and potential strategies for prevention. This model considers the complex interplay between individual, relationship, community, and societal factors, and allows us to address risk and protective factors from multiple domains.

The RPE program encourages the development of comprehensive prevention strategies through a continuum of activities that address all levels of the social ecological model. It is important that these activities are developmentally appropriate for the audience and are conducted at different life stages. This approach is more likely to prevent sexual violence across a lifetime, than any single intervention or policy change.

What is the history of the RPE Program?

Recognizing this preventable problem, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994. This landmark legislation established the Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goal of the RPE program is to strengthen sexual violence prevention efforts. It operates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and six U.S. territories.

What are the goals of the RPE Program?

Primary prevention is the cornerstone of the RPE program. Program activities are guided by a set of prevention principles that include:

  • preventing first-time perpetration and victimization;
  • reducing modifiable risk factors while enhancing protective factors associated with sexual violence perpetration and victimization;
  • using the best available evidence when planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention programs;
  • incorporating behavior and social change theories into prevention programs;
  • using population-based surveillance to inform program decisions and monitor trends;
  • and

  • evaluating prevention efforts and using the results to improve future program plans.
  • References:
    Sexual Violence Prevention: Beginning the Dialogue
    RPE Theory Literature Review

    For More information Contact us at 701 or 888-255-6240 or Email