Violence, once thought inevitable, is being increasingly recognized as a preventable, public health problem. The public health model for violence prevention recommends a four-step process to systematically approach violence. Developing a prevention strategy can be relatively straightforward or rather complex. Many excellent guides and resources, such as the Community Tool Box, are available online and in print. Below you'll find basic guidance related to using risk and protective factors to begin developing or selecting a prevention strategy, specifically in the state of North Carolina. For more in-depth training on prevention program planning consider attending a prevention training provided by the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence or one of our Prevent Violence NC partners.
FIRST, GATHER DATA TO MAKE SURE YOUR PREVENTION STRATEGY IS RELEVANT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY. In order to be successful, it is important that prevention efforts are relevant to your community and involve members of the community in a meaningful way. Before developing or selecting a prevention strategy, it is essential to assess which risk and protective factors are present, among which groups and individuals, and to understand your community’s readiness to address those risk and protective factors. There are several ways to do this.
NEXT, PRIORITIZE. FOCUS ON RISK AND PROTECTIVE FACTORS THAT ARE IMPORTANT, CHANGEABLE, FEASIBLE, AND HAVE BROAD IMPACT. When you have determined the set of risk and protective factors relevant to your community, you will likely need to narrow your list. In order to prioritize the factors your prevention work will address, involve commmunity partners in determining:
Finally, it is essential to consider carefully how addressing particular risk or protective factors (or not addressing them) will affect health inequities.
Special thanks to Dr. Beth Moracco, PhD at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health