Violence Prevention

Violent behavior – especially in youth and young adults – is a phenomenon that causes worry, fear, and anger in society. Trends in the prevalence and types of youth violence are closely monitored, and models of prevention and intervention are developed and tested. In the context of youth violence and prevention, other forms of violence are debated as well, such as caregiver and parental violence against children (and youth). This often goes hand in hand with domestic violence. Programs that aim to prevent violence in disadvantaged urban districts often also focus on the prevention of youth violence, as this is the form of violence often considered the most disruptive and threatening.

Under the ordinance of the Berlin Commission against Violence, our own Office for the Prevention of Youth Violence contributes to the development of prevention and intervention programs for youth violence. We do this through the analysis of trends in youth delinquency, the regular evaluation of prevention and intervention models, and the development of cross-departmental concepts to reduce youth violence. The transfer of knowledge between research and practice is one of our central concerns. This is true for our in-house projects as well as the EU-funded programs we have participated in. Among the latter are “Hands Up! Promoting the Effective Elimination of Corporal Punishment Against Children”, TraPreVi (Training for the Prevention and Treatment of Youth Violent Behavior) and TESYA Professional (Trainings and Empowerment for Youth and Adults). In the framework of these projects, we have provided specialist training and developed accompanying manuals. Some of these projects have focused on perpetrators, and others on victims. Among the latter are research projects on young victims, victimization prevention and support of victims, and specific instruments such as victim-offender mediation.

In addition, we regularly conduct evaluations of projects and programs on the prevention of (youth) violence. Recently, we evaluated several projects: “Bleib Cool am Pool” (Stay cool at the pool) on the prevention of conflicts in public swimming pools in Berlin; a project on the prevention of domestic violence in kindergartens; and anti-violence trainings for violence-prone youth. We also conducted an evaluation of a national school mediation project in which we identified conditions under which mediation by students can make a positive contribution to the prevention of violence in schools.

Violence prevention in sports is another focus of our work. In this regards, we conducted EU-funded research projects on sport activities to prevent youth violence and evaluated the sport supporters and visitor program of the FIFA Soccer World Championship in 2006 in Germany.

Our evaluations, research projects, and consultancies are characterized by a strongly participatory approach, and close collaboration with our clients in the development of lead questions and research designs.