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Violence Intervention Programs

Violence Intervention Programs

What is the problem?

Violence intervention programs provide comprehensive support to individuals who are at greatest risk of gunshot victimization. These programs are shown to reduce gunshot woundings and deaths in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.

Gun homicides and assaults occur at high rates within cities, and have a disproportionate impact in historically underfunded neighborhoods within our cities. Gun violence in cities reflects and amplifies this country’s long-standing systemic and structural inequities.

City leaders, local groups, and residents are driving solutions to reduce gun violence and increase safety in their communities. To reduce gun homicides and assaults within cities, leaders and legislators should invest in community-driven, evidence-based interventions.

How it Works

Community-based violence intervention programs apply a localized approach to gun violence prevention.

Violence intervention programs identify those who are at the highest risk and work to reduce violence through targeted interventions. There are several program models being used across the country.

Street Outreach: This program model employs a public health approach to fight violence. The program has street outreach workers who actively work to mediate conflicts and prevent retaliatory violence between those who are at-risk to commit or become the victims of gun violence.

Group Violence Intervention (GVI) programs: This program model utilizes the call-in, a meeting where members of violent groups hear from law enforcement, social service organizations, and community members that the violence must stop. Law enforcement brings a strong message that if violence continues, the perpetrators will be caught and face harsh consequences. Individuals seeking help are connected to social services, including counseling, education programs, and employment opportunities.

Hospital-Based Violence Intervention programs (HVIPs): These programs are located in trauma centers and emergency departments. They engage patients while they are still in the hospital, often just hours after a violent injury, to reduce the chance of retaliation and violent injury recurrence. They are based in the premise that there is a unique window of opportunity to engage victims of violence in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic injury.

By the numbers

Myth & Fact

Myth

Most violence in cities is gang-related.

Fact

In reality, although some gun violence is connected to gang activity, gun violence occurs more frequently within informal social networks tied together by the places people live, the schools they attend, and their places of worship. Gun violence within these social networks is further concentrated into a very small percentage of people. This gun violence frequently occurs spontaneously, following a dispute or perceived disrespect, and between people who are known to one other. These encounters become deadly because a gun is present.

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Violence Intervention Programs