Domestic Violence Prevention

What is prevention? Prevention is exactly as it sounds – stopping something (in this case, domestic violence) before it has the opportunity to occur.

While the concept of prevention seems relatively simple, the implementation of prevention is complex and challenging.

Violence is a behavior learned from parents, caregivers, schools, friends, communities, media, local, state, and national policies–all reflect how people treat others. In order to prevent these learned behaviors from occurring in relationships, violent behaviors need to essentially be unlearned and replaced with healthier behaviors, or even better, youth can start with healthy, non-violent behaviors.

To understand this, PCADV follows the THRIVE (Toolkit for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments) Model, developed by the Prevention Institute. The THRIVE Model is research-based and looks at community-level risk factors for domestic violence and how they intersect. The THRIVE Model also takes into account the impact of oppressions, as well as community violence and trauma. The model illustrates how these larger environmental factors shape our local communities and, therefore, individual people.

“At a fundamental level, inequity in health outcomes can be understood as a disparity in power. Groups with less power tend to suffer worse health outcomes.”

Kimberlé Crenshaw

In the real-world, prevention can, and should, look different in every neighborhood, community, county, state, etc. One of the greatest assets of prevention work is that it is customized to the unique needs of each community. In Pennsylvania, there are several local domestic violence organizations implementing school climate change, coaches and athlete programs, summer social justice camps, community readiness assessments, and neighborhood food gardens.

Essentially, work that happens primarily at the community and societal levels and that seeks to create sustainable and equitable safety, happiness, and health within a given community – is prevention.