Violence As a Health Issue

UnknownThe Cure Violence Health Model

The Cure Violence Health Model uses the same three components that are used to reverse epidemic disease outbreaks.

  • Interrupting transmission of the disease.
  • Reducing the risk of the highest risk.
  • Changing community norms.
  1. Detect and interrupt potentially violent conflictsTrained violence interrupters and outreach workers prevent shootings by identifying and mediating potentially lethal conflicts in the community, and following up to ensure that the conflict does not reignite.
  • Prevent Retaliations – Whenever a shooting happens, trained workers immediately work in the community and at the hospital to cool down emotions and prevent retaliations – working with the victims, friends and family of the victim, and anyone else is connected with the event.
  • Mediate Ongoing Conflicts – Workers identify ongoing conflicts by talking to key people in the community about ongoing disputes, recent arrests, recent prison releases, and other situations and use mediation techniques to resolve them peacefully.
  • Keep Conflicts ‘Cool’ – Workers follow up with conflicts for as long as needed, sometimes for months, to ensure that the conflict does not become violent.
  1. Identify and treat highest risk: Trained, culturally-appropriate outreach workers work with the highest risk to make them less likely to commit violence by meeting them where they are at, talking to them about the costs of using violence, and helping them to obtain the social services they need – such as job training and drug treatment.
  • Access Highest Risk – Workers utilize their trust with high-risk individuals to establish contact, develop relationships, begin to work with the people most likely to be involved in violence.
  • Change Behaviors – Workers engage with high-risk individuals to convince them to reject the use of violence by discussing the cost and consequences of violence and teaching alternative responses to situations.
  • Provide Treatment – Workers develop a caseload of clients who they work with intensively – seeing several times a week and assisting with their needs such as drug treatment, employment, leaving gangs.
  1. Mobilize the community to change norms: Workers engage leaders in the community as well as community residents, local business owners, faith leaders, service providers, and the high risk, conveying the message that violence should not be viewed as normal but as a behavior that can be changed.
  • Respond to Every Shooting – Whenever a shooting occurs, workers organize a response where dozens of community members voice their objection to the shooting
  • Organize Community – Workers coordinate with existing and establish new block clubs, tenant councils, and neighborhood associations to assist
  • Spread Positive Norms – Program distributes materials and hosts events to covey the message that violence is not acceptable.

Other key elements:

  • Continual data collection and monitoring
  • Extensive training of workers
  • Partnerships with local hospitals

 

For successful implementation, it is highly recommended that a community get technical assistance from Cure Violence and use Cure Violence training materials.