Preventing violence among children and young people requires collective and coordinated action.
The Wales Without Violence Framework outlines the key elements needed to successfully develop primary prevention and early intervention strategies to end violence among children and young people through a public health, whole-system approach.
It is critical that local approaches to preventing violence are underpinned by the violence prevention principles that have been identified by children, young people and professionals across Wales:
Violence is a public health issue. That means it can be prevented before it occurs and responded to more safely and effectively when it does happen to limit future harm.
Prevention is everyone’s business. There is a collective responsibility to create systemic change to prevent violence and protect the most vulnerable in Wales.
This allows children and young people to have their voices heard in matters that affect them. Evidence also tells us that interventions developed in partnership with communities are much more effective.
This ensures that children and young people are safe, aren’t discriminated against and have what they need to survive and develop, among other protections.
Individuals, families, communities, organisations and systems should take account of the adversity and trauma that may affect someone. It’s about recognising and supporting their strengths to overcome this experience.
Violence prevention work must address the multiple and intersecting inequalities that shape the social and cultural context in which it occurs.
Using this data to understand patterns and trends in violence – whilst establishing robust data sharing agreements – ensures prevention efforts are targeted where they’re needed most.
Programmes should be evaluated to understand their implementation process and impact, with any findings shared to build the evidence base for violence prevention.
It is important to engage people where they are, ensuring work is culturally informed by the participation of whole communities in the prevention of violence.