This Toolkit promotes an approach called community-based interventions to violence or what some call community accountability or transformative justice as a way to break isolation and to create solutions to violence from those who are most affected by violence – survivors and victims of violence, friends, family and community. It asks us to look to those around us to gather together to create grounded, thoughtful community responses. It builds on our connections and caring rather than looking at solutions that rely only on separation and disconnections from our communities. It invites us to involve even those who harm us as potential allies in stopping that harm and as active partners in deeply changing attitudes and behaviors towards a solution to violence. It expands the idea of violence and its solutions from that between individuals to one that includes communities – both close and intimate communities and the broader communities of which we are a part.
This Toolkit is based upon the knowledge that our communities have been carrying out creative responses to end violence for many generations. When faced with someone in need of help, our aunts, uncles, and cousins, our friends and neighbors, our faith leaders and the people of all ages have been figuring out ways to address, reduce, end or prevent violence. We at Creative Interventions are building upon these best efforts and successes as well as lessons from mistakes and failures. These lessons have often been ignored as we look increasingly towards the police and agencies to protect us. Centering what we call community-based interventions reminds us of the importance of our own histories, our own expertise and our important roles in ending violence.