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Universal Comprehensive Violence Prevention Education "+"

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Universal Comprehensive Violence Prevention Education Works
2018, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice

Practice Profile - Universal School-Based Prevention and Intervention Programs for Aggressive and Disruptive Behavior. Age: 6 – 18.

The practice is rated Effective in reducing violent, aggressive, and/or disruptive behaviors in students.  Link

"Evidence-based Prevention Approaches and Programs, Policies, and Practices Are Available to Move Youth Violence Prevention Strategies Forward. Youth Violence Prevention Approaches Based on the Best Available Evidence. Universal School-based Youth Violence Prevention. Provide students and school staff with information about violence, change how youth think and feel about violence, and teach nonviolent skills to resolve disputes." (Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action, CDC, June 2014)

“Universal school-based programs to reduce or prevent violent behavior are delivered to all children in classrooms in a grade or in a school. Similarly, programs targeted to schools in high-risk areas are delivered to all children in a grade or school in those high-risk areas. During 2004--2006, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services conducted a systematic review of published scientific evidence concerning the effectiveness of these programs. The results of this review provide strong evidence that universal school-based programs decrease rates of violence and aggressive behavior among school-aged children. Program effects were demonstrated at all grade levels.” (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, National Institute of Justice, NIJ, et al, 2007)

“Over the past few decades, social scientists have made great strides in uncovering the causes and correlates of youth violence. Numerous programs have demonstrated their effectiveness in reducing risk factors for serious violence. Our review of the scientific literature supports the main conclusion of this report: that as a Nation, we possess knowledge and have translated that knowledge into programs that are unequivocally effective in preventing much serious youth violence. (Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, 2001)

Punishment alone does not work: “Studying Deterrence Among High-Risk Adolescents. There was no meaningful reduction in offending or arrests in response to more severe punishment (e.g., correctional placement, longer stays).” (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, August 2015)

A Comprehensive Technical Package, for the Prevention of Youth Violence, and Associated Risk Behaviors (CDC 2016)

Universal school-based programs are a widely used approach to help youth develop skills to prevent violence and engage in healthy behaviors. Potential Outcomes:

• Reductions in perpetration and victimization of verbal and physical aggression
• Reductions in bullying and conduct problems
• Reductions in delinquency
• Reductions in the involvement in violent and nonviolent crime in young adulthood
• Reductions in smoking, alcohol, and drug use
• Reductions in depression and suicidal ideation
• Reductions in other adolescent risk behaviors (e.g., sex without a condom, multiple sex partners, risky driving)
• Increases in emotional regulation, understanding social situations, and developing effective and nonviolent solutions
• Increases in academic proficiency
• Increases in positive bystander behavior
• Increases in anti-bullying school policies
• Increases in positive school climate

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report,

(CDC, April 2017)

Implications for Prevention.


Importance of a Cross-Cutting and Multi-Sector Approach. Given that victimization from and perpetration of different forms of violence often co-occur (Finkelhor et al., 2011), prevention approaches are most efficient when they are cross-cutting and can have impacts on more than one type of violence.”


Early Prevention that Continues Across Developmental Stages. A prevention focus demands that we start early in life with prevention efforts given the findings of this report which suggest the first experiences of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization often happen at a young age. For example, more than three-quarters of female victims of completed rape reported that their first victimization occurred before the age of 25, with 41.3% reporting that they were first raped as a minor.


Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence: A Strategic Vision for Connecting the Dots

(CDC, 2016)

Strategic Focus. Facilitate the identification, implementation, and scale-up of approaches that have cross-cutting impact.


The evidence also points to early childhood education (which has demonstrated effects on child abuse and neglect and youth violence), universal school-based programs that emphasize social-emotional learning (which have demonstrated effects on youth violence, teen dating violence, and sexual violence),


Rationale for promoting a cross-cutting approach


Several decades of research, prevention, and services have revealed a lot about the different forms of violence and how to prevent and respond to them. One fact clearly emerging from this body of work is that the different forms of violence are strongly interconnected.

Previous research indicates:


•             Those who are victims of one form of violence are likely to experience other forms of violence.


•             Those who have been violent in one context are likely to be violent in another context.


•             The different forms of violence share common consequences.


•             The evidence also clearly shows that the different forms of violence share common risk

                and protective factors.



Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan: A Technical Package of Programs, Policies, and Practices (CDC, 2017)

The strategies and approaches included in this technical package represent current best practices in the primary prevention of IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) and supporting survivors with the after effects of IPV.


A comprehensive approach targeting multiple risk and protective factors is critical to having a broad and sustained impact on IPV.


Context and Cross-Cutting Themes. Preventing IPV. Strategy. Teach safe and healthy relationship skills.

Approach. Social-emotional learning programs for youth.


Evidence. The current evidence suggests that both social-emotional programs for youth and relationship skills

programs for adult couples can prevent IPV perpetration and victimization.


Potential Outcomes


• Increases in the use of healthy relationship skills

• Reductions in perpetration of physical, sexual and emotional IPV and stalking

• Reductions in victimization of physical, sexual and emotional IPV and stalking

• Reductions in perpetration of peer violence, including bullying

• Reductions in high-risk sexual behaviors

• Reductions in attitudes that accept violence in relationships

• Increases in relationship satisfaction and well-being

• Reductions in substance abuse

• Reductions in weapon-carrying


While each of the strategies and approaches in the package has a particular focus, several important themes are

cross-cutting and are addressed by multiple strategies.


IPV is connected to other forms of violence. Experience with many other forms of violence puts people at risk

for perpetrating and experiencing IPV. IPV is associated with several risk and protective factors. Research indicates a number of factors increase risk for perpetration and victimization of IPV.


Research indicates that IPV is most prevalent in adolescence and young adulthood and then begins to decline with age, demonstrating the critical importance of early prevention efforts.

World Health Organization (WHO) INSPIRE, Seven Strategies for Ending Violence Against Children

WHO Potential effects of education and life skills on reducing violence against children

• Increases in school attendance and academic success

• Reductions in child marriage

• Reductions in sexual assault

• Reductions in physical and sexual intimate partner violence victimization and perpetration

• Empowers girls and boys to recognize and protect themselves against intimate partner violence

• Reductions in aggressive and violent behaviours

• Reductions in drug use and excessive alcohol use

• Reductions in bullying behaviours


World Health Organization (WHO) Ten Facts About Violence Prevention

Fact Seven: People can benefit from violence prevention programmes in schools. Proven and promising violence prevention strategies focused on individuals include pre-school enrichment programmes during early childhood (ages 3-5 years), life skills training and social development programmes for children aged 6-18 years, and assisting high-risk adolescents and young adults to complete schooling and pursue courses of higher education and vocational training.


World Health Oranization (WHO) Media Centre - Youth Violence Fact Sheet

Prevention.  Promising prevention programmes include:


Life skills and social development programmes designed to help children and adolescents manage anger, resolve conflict, and develop the necessary social skills to solve problems; school-based anti-bullying prevention programmes;


WHO response. WHO and partners decrease youth violence through initiatives that help to identify, quantify and respond to the problem, these include:


Developing a package for schools-based violence prevention programmes;