Cure Violence was our featured Human Rights beneficiary for the third quarter of 2013. Here’s an update from Cameron Johnson, Cure Violence’s associate director of development, about violence-prevention work they are currently doing in Syria.
Cure Violence envisions a world without violence. Reducing violence on a global scale through the use of disease control and behavior change methods is at the core of our mission. As public understanding and acceptance of violence as a health issue has increased, so has our work. Currently, the Cure Violence approach has been implemented in over 20 cities, eight states, and eight countries.
A recent update of our work takes us to Syria, where we played a key part in training 130 Syrian activists seeking the knowledge and tools to stop the massive spread of violence affecting their country. Although highly skeptical at first, the majority of those trained came to fully appreciate the theory and how it could be applied to the conflict constantly seen around them. An astounding 70 percent of the respondents claimed to later use the skills they learned in a violent incident. Successes like this point to the importance of a proven health approach in preventing retaliatory violence—even in the midst of an active conflict.
Associate Director of Development, Cure Violence
UIC School of Public Health