Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


Date of this Version



Published as: Banyard V., Edwards K., Herrington R., Hopfauf S., Simon B., Shroll L. Using photovoice to understand and amplify youth voices to prevent sexual and relationship violence. J. Community Psychol. 2021, 21pp. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22495


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Aims: Efforts to improve prevention of sexual and relationship violence (SRV) among adolescents call for more centering of youth voices, experiences, and skills to design prevention programs that incorporate youth engagement rather than those that are designed by adults for youth. Amplifying the voices of historically marginalized youth are especially needed. Photovoice (PV) is a participatory action method that can empower youth and generate prevention knowledge.

Methods: The current project used PV to engage youth in late middle and early high school to discuss how they could work to prevent SRV in their community. A convenience sample of nine youth (predominately Native American) participated over seven sessions.

Results: A key theme they generated is that SRV prevention needs to be viewed as relational. Participants described the complexity of prevention, including how youth need social support to thrive and prevent SRV and that asking for help can be challenging. Results also highlighted that youth can provide help and support, but it is not always welcome in addition to underscoring that youth are resilient and can be prevention leaders.

Conclusion: Innovations in SRV prevention, especially for older adolescents, should work to engage youth as prevention partners. Participatory research methods like photovoice can be an important part of that process.