Over the last decade there has been a conspicuous emergence of research on sexual violence, and particularly on rape perpetration, from a range of global regions. Work on rape perpetration has enabled new insights into understanding the nature and origins of sexual violence, which is critical for prevention. This paper draws on published research on rape perpetration and new data from a range of global regions. It starts by discussing the prevalence and patterns of rape perpetration in different settings and argues that for prevention, it is important to understand the diversity in these as well as commonalities. These patterns also reflect differences in the context of and motives for sexual violence, which have substantial implications for rape prevention. Reflecting on social dynamics and factors associated with raping, the paper discusses evidence suggesting the importance of some of these between different cultural settings, as well as areas of difference. It will discuss the implications of this for developing national strategies for sexual violence prevention. In order to understand the implications of these findings for developing a state of the art prevention policy, we have undertaken a review of sexual violence prevention policies across the globe. The paper will conclude by reflecting on the current alignment of policy to evidence-based prevention priorities and map new directions for prevention policy.
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