About This Handbook

Sexual assault remains a problem across the military community. Although sexual assault prevention activities (SAPA) exist, some sites have limited capacity to choose, plan, implement, evaluate, improve, and/or sustain effective activities.

In 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) released the 2019 Prevention Plan of Action (PPOA) to guide the SAPA of sites throughout the military (see Figure 1).

To assist sites with executing the plan, DoD SAPRO selected Getting To Outcomes® (GTO), an evidence-based approach that helps organizations systematically plan and measure their activities and outcomes to determine whether they are making a difference.

Figure 1: Prevention Plan of Action 2019–2021

Department of Defense Prevention Plan of Action

Prevention System

  1. Leadership
  2. Prevention Workforce
  3. Collaborative Relationships
  4. Data
  5. Resources
  6. Policy

Prevention Process

  1. Understand the Problem
  2. Comprehensive Approach
  3. Quality Implementation
  4. Continuous Evaluation
  5. Impacts in Decreased Prevalence

About Getting To Outcomes

GTO, a collaboration between researchers at the RAND Corporation and the University of South Carolina, is a ten-step process designed to help communities plan, implement, and evaluate the impact of their programs that attempt to prevent these negative behaviors.

GTO was developed with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Funding for This Handbook

This research was sponsored by the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD), which operates the RAND National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense intelligence enterprise.


Patricia E. Ebener, Joie D. Acosta, Matthew Chinman, Coreen Farris, Amy Shearer, Sierra Smucker, Melissa Bauman, Sarah Zelazny (RAND)

Suggested Citation

Patricia E. Ebener, Joie D. Acosta, Matthew Chinman, Coreen Farris, Amy Shearer, Sierra Smucker, Melissa Bauman, and Sarah Zelazny, Getting To Outcomes® Handbook for Strengthening Sexual Assault Prevention Activities in the Military, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, TL-A746-2, 2022. https://www.rand.org/pubs/tools/TLA746-2/handbook.html.


The authors would like to thank RADM Ann Burkhardt (retired) for her leadership in adopting GTO for use in multiple DoD sites and Army MG Clement S. Coward, who offered his encouragement and support to the project. The authors would like to acknowledge Nathan W. Galbreath, Ph.D., the deputy director of SAPRO, for his guidance and support. The authors would like to acknowledge and are particularly indebted to Andra L. Tharp, Ph.D., senior prevention adviser (SAPRO); Beverly L. Fortson, Ph.D., senior research psychologist (SAPRO); and Air Force Lt Col Thomas M. Maguire, (SAPRO), for their support and guidance in developing this handbook. The authors would also like to thank this handbook's quality assurance reviewers, Molly McIntosh (RAND) and Jim Powers (RAND).