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Reducing Violence: Issues, Options, and Opportunities for State Governments

Options & Strategies


Larry Cohen, M.S.W., Executive Director, Prevention Institute, Berkeley, CA.

Violence is a multifaceted problem in the context of public health prevention-oriented and community-centered models. The three key principles critical to violence prevention are:

  • Violence is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution.
  • The underlying risk and resiliency factors associated with violence must be addressed.
  • A comprehensive action plan must be developed.

Mr. Cohen highlighted the importance of the development of a series of tools to address these three principles, including:

  • Fostering coalitions and networks to enhance collaboration and partnerships between programs and organizations.
  • Enhancing resiliency factors—including positive adult role models and successful youth interactions for individuals who are at risk for violence.
  • Promoting community education around issues of violence prevention.
  • Developing comprehensive action plans.
  • Improving partnerships among violence prevention programs within States and localities.


Cohen L, Swift S. A Public Health Approach to the Violence Epidemic in the United States. Environment and Urbanization 1993;5(2):50-66.

Cohen L, Baer N, and Satterwhite A. Developing Effective Coalitions: An Eight Step Guide. The Prevention Institute.

National Institute for Dispute Resolution. Newsletter. The Fourth 1998; August-October, Vol. 84.

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