What is community violence intervention, really? When Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population but 59% of gun violence victims, these days, many programs focus on gun violence. Here are three key ones.
Violence interruption, or street outreach, tasks trustworthy community members with de-escalation, mediation, and helping people find new directions in life. This includes housing, employment, and education support as well. Many interrupters have skin in the game, having been affected by violence themselves.
Group violence intervention programs, or GVIs, partner with police. Community leaders and social service providers intervene after police identify people most responsible for or connected to violence in their communities.
But trusting cops with predicting “dangerousness” has proven problematic for many, including unethical uses of technology.
Lastly, hospital-based violence interruption programs, or HVIPs, send social service providers and case managers to hospitals to support victims who survive violence with counseling, safety planning, and more. This is a critical way to stop victims from retaliating and continuing the cycle.
There are many approaches to violence intervention, and some are likely near you. Be wary of programs that partner with police and encourage more anti-Black surveillance. But most of all, never stop imagining what our future could look like with no police, less violence, and more community care.