At Prevention Institute, our vision is that all people experience their full potential for health, safety, and wellbeing across the life course through thriving, equitable communities. Safety allows people to thrive and live fulfilling lives—it is freedom from violence and the threat of violence. Our work addresses multiple forms of violence (e.g., school, community, intimate partner, sexual assault, and child abuse and exploitation) and the relationships between them.

Violence is preventable, not inevitable. There is a strong and growing evidence base, grounded in research and experiential practitioner and community evidence that supports this fact. Changing the underlying conditions that contribute to violence—in homes, schools, and neighborhoods—prevents violence from occurring in the first place.

Prevention Institute engages leaders from housing, healthcare, and multiple other sectors at the local, state, and national levels and cultivates a systems approach to prevention that reduces the need for criminal justice intervention. Recognizing violence as a crucial prevention issue for health and equity, Prevention Institute has made a major commitment to helping cities devise comprehensive plans and strategies for reducing and preventing multiple forms of violence. By cultivating communities of practice such as UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth through Violence Prevention) and Safety Through Connection, supporting policy and systems change, and providing strong technical assistance, Prevention Institute catalyzes momentum for safety.

Projects & Initiatives

PI works with a breadth of partners and communities to develop strategies and practices to keep people healthy and safe in the first place. Below is a selection of ongoing or recent projects.

  • Strategies for Youth and Neighborhood Centered (SYNC) Safety

    Strategies for Youth and Neighborhood Centered (SYNC) Safety is a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded project designed to increase partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve Black and Brown communities with inequitable risk for violence and educate the field about the role of public health in building safer communities.

  • Uplifting Contextual and Experiential Evidence (UCEE)

    Uplifting Contextual and Experiential Evidence, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded project, will identify best practices for integrating contextual (i.e., measurable factors in the community that may impact the success of a prevention strategy) and experiential (i.e., the collective experience and expertise of those who have practiced or lived in a particular setting, or lived experience) evidence into an accepted and institutionalized science base.

  • Safety and Healing in Networks of Equity (SHINE)

    Safety and Healing in Networks of Equity (SHINE) is a California project stewarded by Prevention Institute, co-created with a Learning Community of five collaboratives, and supported by the Blue Shield of California Foundation. The collaboratives build community leadership and power for safety through advocacy for housing and economic justice, holistic youth and family support, and community-based intergenerational healing. They are transforming community environments so that populations harmed by structural inequities and domestic violence have equitable access to conditions for safety and healing.

  • Leveraging Collaboration to End Domestic Violence

    Leveraging Collaboration to End Domestic Violence is a California program that strengthens and sustains collaboratives focused on preventing and responding to domestic violence (DV) through community-driven culture and systems changes. 

  • Preventing Violence by Addressing Structural Racism and Promoting Racial Justice

    Structural racism is the driving factor that produces inequities in homicides, shootings, and other forms of violence affecting African American and Latino youth and other youth of color. Through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevention Institute will develop a framework to support city governments in preventing violence by addressing structural racism and promoting racial justice. 

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: Understanding, Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

    Until now, there has been no basis for understanding how community trauma undermines resilience and mental wellbeing, especially in communities highly impacted by violence, and what can be done about it. With the support of Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, PI and Dr. Howard Pinderhughes developed the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience (ACE|R) framework. PI also works with communities, sectors, and policymakers to address and prevent community trauma, and to foster community resilience.

  • Tailored Guidance for Cities and Counties

    Through intensive collaboration with local groups, Prevention Institute has directly shaped how cities and counties approach the issue of violence and has improved prevention practice broadly.

Publications & Other Resources

We research and write reports, white papers, fact sheets, opinion pieces, and journal articles, as well as produce videos and podcasts. Here are some of our latest offerings.

  • Framing Community Safety: Guidance for Effective Communication

    Framing Community Safety is a guide for nonprofits, community-based organizations, public agencies, and others who want to communicate more effectively with the public about community-led efforts to prevent violence and promote safety and healing.

  • Resources on Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: Sectors Acting for Equity (SAFE) Approach

    With support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, and in partnership with representatives from multiple sectors, including domestic violence prevention advocates, and researchers, Prevention Institute developed SAFE (Sectors Acting For Equity) approach. The SAFE approach offers research, analysis, and frameworks to understand and advance a health equity and multisector approach to preventing domestic violence. 

  • Cradle to Community: A Focus on Community Safety and Healthy Child Development

    This report by Prevention Institute and the Center for the Study of Social Policy makes the case for action and delineates opportunities for systems, policy, and practice change at the intersection of community safety and positive early child development. For example, emergent opportunities at the intersection include changing norms about fathers and fatherhood through systems and practice change; engaging the community development sector to address housing issues through policies and practices; and building the early education to employment pipeline through state and local policy change.

  • Economic security and safe relationships: Pathways and actions for partner violence prevention

    ​Through the leadership of coalitions like the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) and the California Work and Family Coalition, momentum is already building to promote economic security in support of safe relationships. With that, there is a need to better understand the connections between economic security and partner violence and learn from communities implementing strategies to improve economic security and decrease violence. This brief unpacks these connections and illustrates examples of actions across Prevention Institute’s Spectrum of Prevention. 

  • A Health Equity and Multisector Approach to Preventing Domestic Violence

    This report offers research, analysis, frameworks, and practitioner wisdom to understand the factors in the community environment that support safe relationships and a reduction in domestic violence (DV). It identifies opportunities for 13 sectors to engage in DV prevention, and offers a method for multiple sectors to identify joint strengths, strategies, and outcomes. The paper presents an overarching approach to advancing a health equity and multisector approach to DV prevention, and identifies broad elements and immediate next steps to move this approach forward.

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

    This first-of-its-kind framework explores trauma at a community level. It explains how trauma is produced not only by experiencing interpersonal violence but also by experiencing structural violence – the harm that individuals, families, and communities experience from the economic and social structure; social institutions; and social relations of power, privilege and inequity that inhibit them from meeting their basic needs.

  • Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links among Multiple Forms of Violence

    To clarify the relationships among eight forms of violence, Prevention Institute developed Connecting the Dots with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to build a case for practitioners to coordinate their efforts, increase their impact, and work toward preventing multiple forms of violence at once.

  • Violence Prevention through Multisectoral Collaboration

    With support from the Violence Prevention Alliance and Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, Prevention Institute developed this resource to offer PI’s Collaboration Multiplier as a tool for those wanting to initiate or advance multisector efforts to prevent violence, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Tools & Services

We have developed a broad range of practical, free-to-use tools to guide practitioners, advocates, and policymakers in planning and implementing  prevention strategies. We also provide services to help you use our tools to create healthy and safe communities.

  • UNITY RoadMap

    To help you get to know the UNITY RoadMap, UNITY has created an interactive experience that lets you navigate through the elements, read related articles, and watch video clips to learn more about how to effectively and sustainably prevent violence.

  • Preventing Violence: A Primer

    This document describes a framework that incorporates public health, law enforcement, social service, and education perspectives in preventing violence. Violence is among the most serious health threats in the nation today, jeopardizing the health and safety of the public. Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the problem of violence, practitioners have increasingly turned toward a broader, more comprehensive approach.

Profiles in Action

These profiles, written by PI and our partners, show what community prevention looks like on the ground, all across the country.

  • Positive youth development in Houston, Texas

    Recognizing that adolescence is a critical time period where behaviors are formed that frequently carry over to adulthood, these initiatives meet young men where they are, with the goal of instilling healthy norms. The Making Connections initiative in Houston embarked on a journey to develop and facilitate a series of conversations on the topics of healthy relationships, unhealthy norms around masculinity and alternative models for healthy masculinity, and teen dating violence. 

  • San Jose ACE|R profile

    As one of eight communities in the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative, the East San Jose Peace Partnership has used ACE|R as its overarching framework. This emphasis has helped the project to remain focused on community level change strategies and provided a structure for expanding its focus to address multiple forms of violence.

  • Milwaukee ACE|R Profile

    In November 2017, Milwaukee released its Blueprint for Peace. Grounded in the Framework, the Blueprint identifies forms of violence and structural violence and draws on community assets and best practices to focus on preventing violence, as well as intervention efforts to ameliorate the impacts of violence and prevent future perpetration and victimization. 

  • Hotspot Mapping: How Colorado is working to improve school climate to prevent violence

    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has adopted hotspot mapping as part of its strategic plan to prevent sexual violence and related safety and health issues. The process brings school communities together to physically map safe and unsafe spaces, while building trusting relationships and empowering youth to be part of developing solutions. Twelve schools in Colorado are piloting this initiative to improving school climate and prevent multiple forms of violence, including sexual and teen dating violence.