With so many mass shootings around the United States in recent days, I’m focusing today’s Feel Good Friday on an organization working to reduce gun violence, Cure Violence Global.
15 countries across the globe including Colombia, Iraq and Kenya. In their first year, the Chicago program reduced shootings by 67%. How do they do it? By using methods and strategies associated with disease control.
Cure Violence Global believes that “violence is a health issue, that individuals and communities can change for the better, that community partners and strategic partnerships are keys to success, and that rigorous, scientific, professional ways of working are essential for effectiveness.” Learn more in this short video.
There are three steps to the Cure Violence approach:
1. Detecting and interrupting conflicts – trained violence interrupters and outreach workers identify and mediate potentially lethal conflicts in the community andfollow up with victims, friends and family of the victim, and anyone else who is connected with the event to prevent retaliation.
1. Identifying and treating the highest risk individuals – outreach workers identify high-risk individuals, talk to them about the costs of using violence and connect them to social services such as job training and drug treatment.
2. Changing social norms – workers engage community leaders and residents to speak out against violence and organize neighborhood associations and block clubs to spread positive norms.
The impact of all these efforts is impressive. Examples from around the world include:
- 66% reduction in shootings in New York City
- 45% reduction in violent crime in Port of Spain, Trinidad
- 88% reduction in killing in San Pedro Sula, Honduras
If you want to take action to reduce violence, you can register for training or follow these steps to implement the Cure Violence program in your community. To help Cure Violence Global “make the cure contagious”, support their work and amplify their message. Make a donation, shop for merchandise, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @CureViolence.