I have been asked many times why my program is called completing violence prevention.
The simple answer is that most of what is called violence prevention is not in fact violence prevention. Most of it should be called “running around picking up the pieces when it is too late.”
Prevention means an intervention prior to the act occuring. In Public health this means an intervention before any of the signs or symptoms of aggression and violence occur.
In violence prevention this means to act pro actively before it becomes an issue in the families and groups where it occurs. It is prophylactic in nature, and it is wholistic enough to consider and intervene in all the areas where problems can cause aggression.
It means planning interventions and training in areas as diverse as sleep, nutrition, family rituals, the construction of meaning, intention, goal mapping and setting, planning, and social contracts and engagement.
It does not mean blaming people who believe that aggression is a normal form of negotiation. It does not mean blaming individuals who have health or skills deficiency’s that lead them to lash out in pain of frustration. It does not mean expecting marginalised or dispossessed people to behave in a way that will dis-empower them.
It does mean up-skilling people. It does mean giving people the tools and knowledge required to understand and meet their own needs. It means educating the community in all of the different issues that are the prequels of aggression and violence.