Center for Public Violence Recovery
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The Center for Public Violence Recovery (CPVR) assists communities prepare for public violence in collaboration with local religious, nonprofit, business and government leaders as an integral part of a whole community resilience plan.
Public violence -- a random violent incident that traumatizes a community -- is often an invisible disaster. When well-meaning leaders try to short-circuit the recovery cycle, promising to quickly restore life to normal, it can produce a "crisis after the crisis" as unaddressed trauma festers. Without a plan for response and recovery that involves the whole community, the result is misinformation, fragmentation of services and a growing sense of hopelessness.
The lack of comprehensive community-wide plans to prepare for public violence resilience is creating a culture of fear that is engulfing the United States. More than 70 percent of Americans, according to recent polls (PRRI/RNS, Gallup), believe public violence is now an inevitable part of life and nearly as many worry that a member of their family will be injured in such an incident.
Comprehensive plans help reassure residents that their lives are not out of control, that violence is not normal and that there are resources to help them. Using proven best practices, CPVR helps communities design and implement proactive public violence resilience plans designed to help residents reclaim hope for their lives. When a community is prepared to care for itself following public violence, the psychosocial health of each individual is improved.
The Center's work focuses on these components of public violence resilience:
- An online toolbox of resources to be used when public violence occurs including: guidance on "what should I do now?" for community and religious leaders; worship aids: scripture, bulletins, sermons, hymns; and suggested topics for future religious and community classes and workshops.
- Community coalitions working to address public violence.
- Networking opportunities for communities that are addressing public violence resilience.
- Creating a clearinghouse of information, case studies and other research related to public violence resilience
- Helping establish collaborative protocols identifying the roles of public safety, religious and nonprofit leadership in planning for public violence resilience.
- Community generated public information and social media strategies to be used throughout the entire recovery cycle "Better than any medication we know, information treats anxiety in a crisis," Saathoff and Everly wrote in 2002.
- Building a network of on-call experts to assist religious and community leaders when public violence occurs.
- Public violence resilience training for community and religious leaders, disaster responders, communicators, and emergency managers.
The Center will launch its own Website in 2016.
The Center for Public Violence Recovery is guided by a nationwide advisory council and is a program of the Village Life Company, a Columbia, Maryland-based 501(c)(3) organization that has researched public violence resilience and disaster response since 1996.