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The term violence prevention means many things. It can refer to preventing people from becoming victims of violence. It can refer to preventing people from becoming perpetrators of violence. Both of these forms of prevention can take place before the first incident ever occurs (primary prevention) or they can take place later, to prevent violence from occurring again and to mitigate the immediate and long-term effects of violence (secondary and tertiary prevention).

The goal of Prevent Violence NC is to prevent first-time perpetration of violence. The selected strategies are centered on ensuring people do not become violent, by fostering individual, family, community, and societal supports and positive norms - what we call Key Strengths

PRIMARY Prevention of Violence

Primary prevention is prevention of first-time perpetration or victimization. The strategies featured on Prevent Violence NC are designed to prevent first-time perpetration.

Strategies to prevent first-time victimization include things like recognizing and avoiding risk. Though these strategies may be considered part of a broader approach to violence prevention, we choose not to highlight them for several reasons, including:

  • they place responsiblity for preventing violence on the shoulders of the individuals victimized by it
  • they do little to prevent someone who has not been reached by the prevention strategy from being victimized
  • they tend to emphasize actions individuals can or should take to avoid violence, rather than addressing its root causes; the result of this approach is less sustainable and more limited in reach, failing to impact the systems, attitudes, and norms that allow violence to persist


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