The Good News: Treating Violence Like a Disease Means a Cure Is Out There

A bad apple ruins the bunch, and it’s a similar principle with people who get violent in communities.
Jan 30, 2015·
Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is TakePart's News Editor.

Even when violence isn’t retaliatory, it affects those who witness it. The innocent bystander who sees someone fatally shot carries the weight of witnessing that, and often acts out on it.

The researchers at Cure Violence have found that to be true time and again, and they are pushing to find ways to help stop violence at the root of the problem. The solution is simpler than reorganizing people’s lives or moving away from neighborhoods that are deemed dangerous, and it’s cheaper than incarcerating all the perpetrators who beget more perpetrators.

It’s been shown that following the path of violence and helping people in violent areas mediate conflict, listen, and talk has saved lives. Just one example: In the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York—an airport-adjacent area of the borough where crime and poverty are common—there were no shootings for 363 days one year after a program was implemented to unite the community against violence.