A World Without Violence

Cure Violence is guided by clear understandings that violence is a health issue, that individuals and communities can change for the better, that community partners and strategic partnerships are keys to success, and that rigorous, scientific, professional ways of working are essential for effectiveness.

Cure Violence Mission

To reduce violence globally using disease control and behavior change methods.

Cure Violence Goals

  1. Implement the Cure Violence model in urban areas around the world.
  2. Shift the thinking, policy, and practice as it relates to violence such that it is seen primarily as health issue.

Cure Violence Vision

Cure Violence envisions a world without violence.

We want to change the mindset of everyone away from “bad” people and toward understanding violent behavior as people with health problems. We ultimately want to shift the worldview of violence away from prosecution and focus more on prevention. If we can convince more and more people to properly re-understand violence as a disease, then we can treat it accordingly by stopping the epidemic, reversing it and curing it.

The Work of Cure Violence

Cure Violence is a teaching, training, research and assessment NGO focused on a health approach to violence prevention. The Cure Violence health model is used by more than 50 cities and organizations in the U.S., as well as eight countries ranging from Canada to South Africa to Syria. Cities and organizations implementing the Cure Violence health model regularly experience reductions in violence within the first year ranging from 40-70% and greater reductions in subsequent years. We provide cities and organizations with the training and technical assistance to effectively implement the Cure Violence model.  We are currently focusing our efforts on three parts of the world: the United States, Latin America, and the Middle East/North Africa.

Cure Violence is also leading a movement to treat violence as a health problem.  We intend to fundamentally change the discourse on and approach to violence from the prevailing paradigm that understands violence as moral corruption or human failing that applies punitive strategies to address the issue, to one that includes an understanding and addressing of violence as a health problem – a contagious epidemic. To do so successfully, we are activating voices and resources throughout our comprehensive health system and establishing violence prevention as a health sector responsibility and imperative.

Cure Violence History

Cure Violence was founded by Gary Slutkin, M.D., former head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Intervention Development Unit and Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois/Chicago School of Public Health. Cure Violence launched in West Garfield Park, one of the most violent communities in Chicago, and was quick to produce results, reducing shootings by 67% in its first year. From 2000-2008, Cure Violence (as CeaseFire Chicago) focused its activities in the United States, quickly expanding to Baltimore, New York, New Orleans, Oakland, Loiza, Puerto Rico and other sites. In 2008, Cure Violence began its first international adaptation and replication of the methodology in Basra and Sadr City, Iraq.  Since then, international programs have been added in Canada (Halifax and Alberta), Colombia (Cali), El Salvador (San Salvador and San Pedro Mazawal), Honduras (San Pedro Sula), Jamaica (St. Catherine North and St. James), Kenya (Nairobi and Rift valley), Mexico (Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City), South Africa (Hanover Park), Syria (western and northern), Trinidad & Tobago (Port of Spain) and United Kingdom (London).  Cure Violence has also provided training in violence prevention techniques to representatives from dozens of other countries.

Most Cure Violence network program sites have been externally evaluated, demonstrating strong results in multiple sites.  In June 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. referenced Cure Violence as  a “rational, data-driven, evidence-based, and smart approach to crime.”  The Economist termed the Cure Violence method “the approach that will come to prominence.”

Cure Violence Accolades

  • Highlighted by the award winning movie The Interrupters in 2011
  • Ranked 17th among the Top 500 Global NGOs; first among organizations dedicated to reducing violence.
  • Named the “approach that will come to prominence” by The Economist.
  • Featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine
  • Cited in A Path Appears, the 2014 New York Times Best Seller by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn, as an organization changing the world
  • Helped to organize an Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences) workshop on violence as a contagious disease

Cure Violence/Gary Slutkin, M.D. Awards

  • Order of Lincoln, State of Illinois’ Highest Honor, for outstanding contributions to people of the State of Illinois (2015)
  • Named One of 16  Global Heroes by Together for Girls’ Safe Magazine (2015)
  • U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety (2001)
  • Search for Common Ground Award (2009)
  • Purpose Prize, Encore.org (2012)
  • Warren Knight Award, JAMS Foundation, recognition of successful efforts to prevent violence and to promote peaceful resolution of conflict across the US and around the world (2015)
  • Bene Shalom Humanitarian Award for the commitment to eradicate violent behavior (2009)
  • 40 Who’ve Made a Difference Award, Business & Professional People for the Public Interest (2009)
  • Partner Award, The McCain Institute for International Leadership
  • The Order of the Holy Family, Evangelical Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of the Northwest, in recognition of contribution to the cause of social justice and peace for all people (2001)
  • Cook County State’s Attorney Victim Service Award, in recognition of exemplary service and dedication to improve the quality of life in Chicago’s neighborhoods (2004)
  • Excellence in Community Collaboration Award, State of the Community Summit, for unrelenting efforts toward incorporating the community’s voice in the development of the best public safety model in the State of Illinois (2004)
  • Volvo for Life Award (2007)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award, The Pastors Network, for many years of service and support to the dream of Dr. King (2007)
  • Humanitarian Award, UIUC College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (2012)


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