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​​What is the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI)?

The goal of the Violence Prevention Initiative is to reduce violence and create safer and healthier communities for all Californians.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is committed to preventing violence and exploring innovative approaches to address this complex issue through the lens of public health. CDPH focuses on preventing multiple forms of violence and has established the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI), with the purpose of elevating violence as a departmental priority, integrating and aligning efforts across multiple CDPH programs, and framing the public health governmental role in addressing violence. 

​What is the Public Health Role in Violence Prevention?

Public health recognizes that violence is preventable and takes a primary prevention approach, working "upstream" to address underlying causes to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

The public health approach to violence prevention focuses on the following four-step process:

  1. Define and monitor the problem – Analyze data such as the number of violence-related injuries and deaths.

  2. Identify risk and protective factors – These can increase or decrease the likelihood of a person becoming a victim or perpetrator of violence.

  3. Develop and test prevention strategies – Use data and findings from evaluation and research as an evidence-based approach to program planning.

  4. Assure widespread dissemination of effective practices – Share best practices through networking, training, and technical assistance. 

Preventing Violence in California, Volume 1: The Role of Public Health

Preventing Violence in California Volume 1: The role of Public Health (PDF)

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