What do you mean by prevention?

Every single service provided by the Ion Center falls into one of three levels of prevention. 

Imagine that you are walking beside a river with a few friends and suddenly you see a small child being pulled downstream by the current. The child can’t get out on their own, so of course you or one of your friends jumps in and tries to help them. That’s when you notice that more children are coming toward you in the river. Another one of your friends probably jumps in to help. This is considered secondary prevention –  work that stops emergency situations from continuing or getting worse. During all this, another of your friends might start running upstream to answer the question “how and why are so many children ending up in the river in the first place?”

They find a broken bridge and realize that children are falling into the river while crossing over. So your friend begins to repair the bridge, while helping other children find alternative ways to cross the river, or even advising them to not cross the river at all. This is primary prevention – work done to build knowledge on an issue, seek out the skills that are needed to correct it, and create manageable steps to stop the issue from hurting people.

Now consider the people who are still helping the kids get out of the river. Someone in that group is probably working with the kids who have already been pulled out. They are no longer in immediate danger, but they still need to dry off and have any bumps or bruises treated, and make sure they don’t have any major, long-term injuries. This is tertiary prevention – work to address short term-needs, and to address any long-term effects or trauma.

Everything we do is either preventing violence from happening or preventing it from getting worse. 

Level 1: Primary Prevention


Work done in the community to educate, bring a connection to the issues, and build skills and knowledge on what to do before an incident of power-based personal violence has happened.

  1. Public Education
  2. Middle & High School
  3. Community Partnerships

Level 2: Secondary Prevention


Services to stop emergency situations from continuing or escalating.

  1. 24-Hour Hotline
  2. Walk-in Services
  3. Hospital Advocacy
  4. Pet Protection
  5. Emergency Shelter
  6. Court Advocacy
  7. Safety Planning

Level 3: Tertiary Prevention


Ongoing work to help survivors address short-term and long-term effects and/or trauma.

  1. Therapy
  2. Support Groups
  3. Court Advocacy
  4. Safety Planning
  5. Financial Literacy

We are proud to implement two primary prevention strategies in schools and in our communities.

Green Dot is a nationally recognized strategy focused on preventing power-based personal violence. The strategy is based around the belief that each one of us holds power as bystanders to actively prevent violence and shape our community norms.

The Green Dot strategy draws its name from the image of a map covered in red dots. In this image, each red dot represents any single act of power-based personal violence. The ultimate goal is to put more green dots on our map than there are red dots.

Green dots are small, individual, manageable actions people can make to make it less likely that red dots occur or get worse. A green dot could be anything from intervening to stop a high risk situation to influencing our community norms through simple words and actions. The Ion Center is proud to provide this comprehensive violence prevention training for high schools, community groups, businesses, and organizations in the Northern Kentucky, Buffalo Trace, and Greater Cincinnati areas.

No matter who you are, you can be a part of the solution. Put a green dot on the map today! Learn more about Green Dot, as well as it’s proven effectiveness, at greendotgcky.org.

It’s My Space is a program created by Kentucky Rape Crisis Center educators for use in Kentucky middle schools to promote healthy relationships and build safe environments. The sixth grade curriculum focuses on building a foundation by teaching students to recognize and vocalize one’s personal boundaries. The seventh grade curriculum takes that foundation and expands upon it to teach students about healthy and unhealthy friendships and dating relationships. Finally, the eighth grade curriculum adds on skill building around healthy and unhealthy communication and building empathy. It’s My Space is a four-session curriculum with the first three sessions focusing on learning content and then the fourth session focusing on hot spot mapping. With hot spot mapping, students color maps of their school to identify “hot” and “cool” spots based on the level of safety felt in each space. Then the Ion Center works in conjunction with the school administration to make changes to the physical environment of the school based on the results of the mapping activity. It’s My Space is a great program for either a stand-alone middle school or one that is affiliated with a high school doing the Green Dot program. 

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