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Multidisciplinary Violence Prevention | Overview

In recognition of the complex interplay of individual and societal factors that can lead to youth violence, the Multidisciplinary Violence Prevention (MVP) Core of the TCRC conducts research, intervention development, and capacity building in multidisciplinary approaches to violence prevention. In partnership with law enforcement, health and social service sectors, and community members, our team has engaged in innovative research and programming over the past 10 years to understand and prevent youth radicalization to violence. We believe that community-based multidisciplinary programming that addresses both trauma and the social context offers the greatest promise for the prevention of extremist or targeted violence. Our team is actively working to implement and evaluate this approach both locally and globally. Our commitment to social justice, equity, and human rights stands at the heart of this work.

Perpetrators of violence often have a “traceable history of interpersonal problems, conflicts, disputes, and failures” (NIJ). While some threats of violence are just a person “blowing off steam” with no actual intent behind the words, other times the threats are substantiated and should not be ignored. Threat assessment techniques have advanced in the last few decades to provide a better understanding of what the warning signs of violence are. Our team works with these professionals to create diversions for those on a path to violence, so that they can receive the help they need to lead a violence-free life.

Key terms

While violence is an all-too-common phenomenon in our society, the terminology used within the field of violence prevention is not widespread and well understood by the general public. Below are some frequently used terms and their definitions, which will be helpful in clarifying the descriptions of our MVP projects below.

  • Targeted violence refers to violence that is against a specific target based on ideology or grievances. Targeted violence can include acts of terrorism but is a much broader term that includes mass shootings, attacking houses of worship, and hate crimes. It does not include domestic violence or gang violence, but can include violence based on grievances or feelings of hate.
  • Extremist violence or terrorism refers to violence that stems specifically from ideological, religious, or political goals, and are often fueled by extremist movements, such as ISIS, Boko Haram, or the Taliban.