Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Issue Areas

Violence Prevention

As an organization working to promote the health and well-being of all people, the Public Health Institute recognizes the tremendous threat that all forms of violence pose to achieving healthy, thriving communities. Violence and perceptions of violence negatively impact individual lives, but also the entire health of a community—limiting physical activity opportunities at parks and other public spaces, contributing to a lack of jobs and economic opportunities, creating barriers to education, participation in public policy discussions, and even preventing access to healthy food, drinkable water, and quality health care.

The Public Health Institute believes that violence is a public health problem, and must be met with a comprehensive public health solution. We have experience developing and advancing community-based violence prevention strategies, including those that address intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and gun violence, often in low-resource settings. We have contributed to the growing body of research demonstrating the connections between violence and public health, and track state, national, and international policy reforms to reduce violence. We have also worked with community residents, local leaders, elected officials, and the business community to develop and implement on-the-ground violence prevention solutions, both in the U.S. and globally.

Our expertise includes:

  • Program management: Our experts are well-versed in the latest best practices for creating healthy, safe communities that are free from violence. We are available to help you implement comprehensive prevention strategies, at the local to global levels. 
  • Leadership program development and implementation: PHI experts launch and sustain programs that equip community members with the skills they need to become health advocates, with an emphasis on violence prevention. We have extensive experience developing world-renowned leadership programs for women, youth, low-income populations, and communities of color. 
  • Trainings and technical assistance: We offer trainings to support your violence prevention efforts, including: building coalitions to prevent violence; harnessing the media to advance public health solutions, and; utilizing the power of policy to make tangible impacts. We are also available for ongoing consultation and technical support.
  • Policy development and advocacy: PHI staff has helped to champion powerful violence prevention policies in countries across the world. Together, we can work with you to devise and advance research-backed policies to stem violence.

HOW CAN WE WORK TOGETHER? SEND US AN EMAIL.


Resources and Tools

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Experts

Alison Chopel

Alison Chopel is director of the California Adolescent Health Collaborative. In this role she works to improve the health and well-being of Califor...

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Lori Dorfman

Lori Dorfman, DrPH, directs Berkeley Media Studies Group, which works with community groups, journalists and public health professionals to use the...

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Thomas Greenfield

Tom Greenfield is scientific director of PHI's Alcohol Research Group (ARG). He also directs ARG's National Alcohol Research Center, which ...

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Elaine Zahnd

Elaine Zahnd, PhD, is a sociologist and senior research scientist at PHI. Zahnd has conducted health policy-related research and evaluations for ov...

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Programs

California Center for Research on Women and Families

The California Center for Research on Women and Families (CCRWF), established in November 2000, is the sponsor of the California Working Families P...

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Champions for Change

Champions for Change saves the lives of women and children in Nigeria by empowering local leaders and organizations to improve ...

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Dialogue4Health

Dialogue4Health (D4H), a project of PHI, is a community that conceives, builds and shares strategies to improve the public's health. D4H p...

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Let Girls Lead

Let Girls Lead is building a global movement of Champions who empower girls to attend school, stay healthy, escape poverty, and overcome violence.&...

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Here's How We're Making a Difference

Identifying the Prevalence of ACES

PHI’s Survey Research Group conducted a survey of nearly 28,000 California residents, leading to shocking revelations that one out of five California adults with children living in their homes were beaten, kicked or physically abused when they were children, and one in ten were sexually abused. This data has fed into a larger campaign for public health organizations around the country to begin treating the long-lasting effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as an urgent public health crisis. 

Using the data, PHI, LiveStories, and The Center for Youth Wellness created an interactive data tool that displays county and state-wide data about the pervasiveness of ACEs alongside resources and words of wisdom from thought leaders. Facilitated by PHI’s new data and persuasive storytelling, the field is shifting its understanding of how to treat and understand the generational effects of trauma and events experienced in childhood.

Learn more by viewing the interactive data story.

Preventing Community Violence by Changing the Media’s Discourse

We must change how we talk about community violence in order to ensure community safety. In conjunction with Prevention Institute, community leaders and violence prevention advocates in Northern California, PHI’s Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) explored what it will take to change the discourse on violence, with a focus on the news media.

First, BMSG and partners worked with community violence prevention leaders to identify specific, solutions-oriented frames missing from the current discourse on violence. BMSG then conducted a news analysis of how those frames appeared in California papers from 2013-2015. Using this novel methodology, BMSG evaluated news from different sectors to identify opportunities for journalists to elevate community violence prevention. This research was then presented at convenings with community leaders to get their input and draft additional tools for action.

BMSG’s research uncovered trends in how community violence and safety are framed in California news—specifically, that a solutions-oriented frame is dwarfed by sensationalist coverage of individual crimes; that community safety news focuses on solutions, including preventive solutions; that police dominate the coverage but community residents are becoming more visible; and that an emerging frame in the coverage focuses on racism as a root cause of violence. These findings lay the groundwork for shifting the discourse around violence and elevating prevention. See the full research.

Preventing Violence Across The Globe With Policy Change

Working with local girl- and youth-rights advocates, Rise Up has influenced 124 laws and policies—including raising the age of marriage and increasing access to eduation and rights for girls—impacting more than 115 million individuals in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the United States. 

PHI's Let Girls Lead has championed the passage of the national Children’s Law in Liberia, supported the ratification of a national treatment protocol for sexual violence survivors in Guatemala, and created a national advocacy network that helped to pass legislation outlawing child marriage in Malawi and Guatemala.