Cure Violence

1301 E. Rio Grande Victoria, TX 77901

About

In 2011, the documentary film The Interrupters introduced audiences to three Chicagoans whose job it was to walk the streets of their neighborhoods mediating violent disputes. The mediators in the film were working with CeaseFire, Chicago's Cure Violence program, to work with other Violence Interrupters to mediate 700 potentially lethal conflicts in Chicago. This often meant physically standing in between feuding individuals, putting their own lives at risk to make their communities safer. In addition to its work in Chicago, Cure Violence operates programs in seven other cities in Illinois and 14 cities across the United States. In 2011, the documentary film The Interrupters introduced audiences to three Chicagoans whose job it was to walk the streets of their neighborhoods mediating violent disputes. This often meant physically standing in between feuding individuals, putting their own lives at risk to make their communities safer.

Cure Violence's founder, Dr. Gary Slutkin, is an epidemiologist who approaches violence as an infectious disease that should be treated like any other epidemic—with scientifically proven methods. The organization applies the same techniques associated with disease control—detection, intervention, and changing behavior—to alter a community's perspective of violence and stop the problem at its source.

Within violence-plagued neighborhoods, the organization's Violence Interrupters—often former drug dealers, gang members, and violence perpetrators—detect and mediate potentially lethal conflicts. Outreach Workers, meanwhile, work with high-risk individuals to change the way they think about violence and help them work within the system to improve their lives. On a larger scale, Cure Violence shifts the discourse on violence within whole communities and society at large, emphasizing solutions to the problem instead of punishment.

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