PBS Documentary Tells Violence Interrupters’ Story

February 21, 2014

In 1995, epidemiologist Gary Slutkin founded Cure Violence, formerly called Ceasefire. Dr. Slutkin believes that violence should be treated like an epidemic, and can be prevented by stopping the behavior at its source. Modeled after strategies to prevent disease transmission, the Cure Violence model addresses violence through a three-pronged approach: 1) interrupting the transmission of violence; 2) identifying and changing the thinking of the highest potential transmitters; and 3) changing group norms.    

Cure Violence launched in West Garfield Park, one of Chicago’s most violent communities. Shootings declined dramatically. Since then, the program has been replicated 18 times in Chicago and throughout the world.

Acclaimed PBS documentary The Interrupters tells the stories of three violence interrupters working with Cure Violence to break the cycle of violence in Chicago communities. These interrupters, all former gang members, connect with perpetrators and victims, attempting to intervene before violence erupts.

To watch the documentary, visit The Interrupters. To learn more about the Cure Violence model, implementation strategies, and success stories, visit Cure Violence

Communities in Action provide examples of strategies or tools in action. Their purpose is to connect like-minded communities in their implementation efforts, giving insight into how others are tackling key challenges and what they've accomplished. To learn more about the evidence supporting this strategy's effectiveness or resources to help move towards implementation, see the What Works for Health summary of the Cure Violence model.

Date added: March 26, 2014