“Cure Violence”, is a public health based methodology used for the prevention of violence that sees violence as learned behavior that can be prevented using a three-pronged approach:
1) Interrupting transmission of the disease
2) reducing the risk of the highest risk
3) Changing community norms
Cure Violence was founded in 1995 by Gary Slutkin, M.D., former head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Intervention Development Unit and Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois/Chicago School of Public Health. Cure Violence launched in West Garfield Park, one of the most violent communities in Chicago, and was quick to produce results, reducing shootings by 67% in its first year.
Through the Cure Violence model Dr. Gary Slutkin is eradicating and preventing gun violence in the most dangerous of urban areas through a unique model in which he treats violence as an infectious disease. His CeaseFire model, informed by over a decade of battling infectious diseases in Africa, and honed by years of careful implementation in North America, is significantly reducing the incidence of gun violence in the U.S. and also spreading internationally.
Cure Violence is a teaching, training, research and assessment NGO focused on a health approach to violence prevention. The Cure Violence health model is used by more than 50 communities in the U.S., as well as in many countries ranging from El Salvador, México and Honduras to South Africa, Iraq and Syria. Cities and organizations implementing the Cure Violence health model regularly experience reductions in violence within the first year ranging from 40-70% and greater reductions in subsequent years.
For over five years the Alvaralice Foundation actively sought international funding in order to implement the first “Cure Violence” model in Colombia. Finally, in December of 2016, negotiations were finalized for the financing of this project through a strategic alliance with the Mayor’s Office of Cali. In mid-2017, the pilot project was launched in the Charco Azul and Comuneros I Districts, which were selected due to their high levels of violence, gang activities and invisible borders. These neighborhoods were also chosen because this type of intervention has never been tried in these communities.
Participants of the “Cure Violence” Cali project chose to change its name to “Abriendo Caminos” (“Opening Pathways”) which signifies “the opening of paths for the youth that don’t know where to go or what to do with their lives”.