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Violence Prevention

Violence Prevention
Violence Prevention | ©: bramgino - Fotolia

"Violence is not a solution". Most likely, all of us had heard this sentence several times before. Nevertheless, violence is increasingly an issue, especially among young people. Both in school settings as well as in youth work, youth groups and in the parental home. Violence prevention is, therefore, a critical issue. The individual topics offer suitable solutions. These are drawn up, for example, by psychologists, but also by parents and teachers, and then put into practice.

As a general rule concerning the successful prevention of violence: The sooner you start, the better! Just as the name implies: preventive measures are there to prevent violence before it occurs.

Which topics belong to violence prevention?

Effective prevention of violence is made up of some different issues. When the preventive work is designed, it is important that as many as possible topics are included so that the prevention can deliver maximum success. However, this is not about the triggers of violence among young people but to subject areas that contribute, specifically to de-escalate or prevent violence. Here are some examples:

  • dispute settlement/mediation
  • Promoting empathy
  • Expansion of communication skills
  • Assertiveness
  • Self Defence
  • Norm clarification
  • Penalties/Sanctions

Content of violence prevention

In recent years, some different concepts have been developed and presented to prevent violence. These ideas are sometimes significantly different while others can be combined.

Violence Prevention
Violence Prevention | ©: Luis Louro - Fotolia

An important part of violence prevention is raising awareness and promoting empathy. Children and adolescents are taught to pay attention to (hidden) signals and to detect possibly escalating situations in advance. Selective empathy training helps to empathize with his counterpart and to understand his motives and behaviours.

This is followed by the promotion of communication skills which seamlessly connects. Note: Most situations did not have to degenerate into a physical altercation if the participants had learned how to better and more usefully to communicate with each other. That's the goal here.

If, despite all the preventive measures it still comes to physical violence, dispute resolution or mediation can help. They too can be individually learned. It may also be necessary to resort to appropriate restrictions, for example, the norm clarification or targeted sanctions or penalties.

By the way: Violence is much subtler than what meets the eye at first glance. Besides the physical violence, when it comes to children and adolescents, often psychological violence is used as well. One of the best-known forms of this type of violence is bullying. For this kind of violence, there are also special measures for prevention but in particular for strengthening the child's self-esteem and self-confidence.

Examples of possible contents in violence prevention

As already said: In Germany there is no lack regarding ideas and content to the topic of violence prevention.

Self-defence courses

Martial art and self-defence courses mainly aim to strengthen young people's self-confidence and expand this. The motto after all is, if you have enough confidence, you do not need to resort to violence to achieve your goals.

Social Training

Also, how to properly deal with people can be learned. This is called social training. It is not uncommon that juvenile delinquents are ordained by the youth judge to participate in such social training. The supervision and implementation of this training take place as part of the youth justice system.

"Together we get strong!"

The best results are achieved when all pull together. This is also true for the prevention of violence. Therefore, the program "Together we are strong!" does not just involve schools and teachers but the parents as well. After all, it is the parents who possess a high level of "life skills" that they are supposed to pass on to the next generation.

"Silent Guys"

Almost as a counterpoint to active methods (e.g. Self-Defence) the project "Silent Guys" ( call on young people to look inside. The aim is to perceive their own bodies and emotions consciously, to learn to listen to others and grasp their feelings as precisely as possible.

These were only four examples. A combination of several different preventive measures, buildings blocks to strengthen self-esteem and anti-aggression training. These methods work the problem from different angles and complement each other very well.

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