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Office of Mental Health

Violence Prevention: Violence Prevention Strategies

These strategies may be helpful in mediating the risk factors for violence.

Encourage "protective" factors

Protective factors that can counter the negative impact of some risk factors associated with violence include:

Individual characteristics

  • High IQ, resilient temperament, good natured, enjoys social interactions. With similar risk factors girls are less likely than boys to become violent.


  • Strong, positive relationships with family members, teachers or other adults can make a youth feel that someone takes an interest in them and cares about them.

Adults with healthy beliefs and clear standards

  • Adults can act as role models and demonstrate to youths that people can succeed in life without being violent.

Interventions at the individual level

School-wide strategies

Safe school environments require an atmosphere that demonstrates respect for, communication with, and responsibility to one another on a day-to-day basis. A positive school environment provides youths with tools to handle conflict in nonviolent ways. Here are some ways to facilitate such an environment:

District-wide strategies

Discipline codes should be reviewed periodically and comply with federal, state, and local education laws. Be sure consequences are commensurate with the violation, for example, employ a "graduated sanctions" approach to discipline. Detention, suspension, and expulsion policies should be reviewed and clearly defined so that the discipline code can be enforced consistently, firmly, and fairly.

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