Violence prevention approach

Learn about our community-focused and public health approach to prevent violence and keep communities safe.

The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) uses a community-focused, public health approach to prevent violence and keep communities safe. As we work to prevent violence and provide safe communities for everyone, there are several beliefs that are at the core of our work. These beliefs guide how we approach this work.

Core beliefs in our work

  • Violence is not inevitable. The same as with other health conditions, we can prevent and treat violence, and we can heal from it.
  • Violence has roots in social, economic, political and cultural conditions. Some things that can impact violence are:
    • racism
    • limited economic opportunities
    • community disinvestment
    • community disconnectedness
    • poor housing conditions
    • harmful norms around gender and masculinity
    • classism
    • oppression
  • Violence takes an unequal toll on communities of color and on specific neighborhoods in Minneapolis. Violence prevention must include work to dismantle structural racism.
  • Everyone has a role to play in creating communities that don’t include violence. It takes us all to make our communities safe, healthy, hopeful, and thriving.

Addressing violence prevention at three levels

We work to address violence and promote safe and healthy communities along a continuum at three levels:

Up front

Addressing the roots of violence and laying groundwork before violence has happened to keep it from happening. Strategies at this level often involve infusing activities into the fabric of society. These strategies are often community-based and directed toward everyone.

In the thick

Early intervention, often at the first sign of risk or in response to an immediate threat of violence. Strategies here often focus on people more at risk of involvement with violence.


Protecting those who have been hurt from being hurt again, restoring those who have gone down the wrong path, and healing communities. These strategies are usually highly focused on a small group of people.

Contact us

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415