Cure Violence is ranked 10th in NGO Advisor’s 2018 report of the Top 500 NGOs in the world, one of the definitive international rankings of non-governmental organizations. Cure Violence has been among the top 20 NGOs for five consecutive years and moved up two places from last year.
Cure Violence uses a public health approach to stop the spread of violence in communities by detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, and changing social norms — resulting in reductions in violence of up to 70 percent. The Cure Violence approach has been proven effective by multiple studies for lessening street and youth violence, and is being used to tackle other issues, including cartel, tribal, election, prison, school, and ideologically inspired violence. The group is also increasingly being consulted on mass shootings, domestic violence and violence in active conflict zones.
“To break into the top 10 NGOs this year is such an honor for Cure Violence, and we give great credit to our many partners in the U.S. and around the world who are doing such great work in making their communities safer and healthier by implementing this new approach to prevent and treat violence,” said Dr. Gary Slutkin, professor of epidemiology and global health in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and founder and executive director of Cure Violence.
Cities around the world have turned to the Cure Violence model to prevent violence — from sectarian violence in Iraq to community violence in Honduras, to prison violence in England. The Cure Violence approach is currently being implemented in 10 countries across more than 25 cities and 60 communities. Programs are expanding into new communities in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Latin America, as well as in the Middle East, including Syria.
Cure Violence is implementing a new project to reduce violence in Syria by incorporating public health thinking and practices. The project is a collaboration with the Stockholm International Peace Research Initiative (SIPRI).
Cure Violence also has partnered with the Salam Institute in the West Bank to create a network of more than 200 trainers and violence-interrupters in cities including Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and Jerusalem. More than 100 interruptions were recorded within the first month of the initiative, and more than 200 youth have been trained in the Cure Violence approach.
New York City is the largest Cure Violence site in the world – with the city expanding its annual investment to $22.5 million. A recent evaluation of the New York City program from John Jay College Research and Evaluation Center found a 63 percent reduction in shootings and improvement in police-community relations.
Cure Violence recently has worked with partners in Chicago to bring back funding to establish the strongest Cure Violence presence in the city to date. Baltimore’s Cure Violence program, known as Safe Streets, has become part of the city’s budget for the first time this year. In 2017, Cure Violence programs were established in Omaha and Durham, and this year Milwaukee and Louisville are expected to launch their own programs.
Slutkin, formerly of the World Health Organization, founded Cure Violence in 1995. It is based on his idea that violence acts like a contagious disease, spreading from person to person as people adopt the behaviors they observe in their friends and peers.
“Violence is contagious — it spreads from one person to another. Cure Violence staff work one-on-one with those most likely to be violent and use their influence to talk them out of it,” Slutkin said. “Communities around the world are understanding that violence is a health issue and that this means we need to implement health approaches. We are working with as many partners and individuals as we can to guide and train them to effectively implement this health approach to preventing violence.”