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Preventing Teen Dating and Youth Violence by Addressing Shared Risk and Protective Factors:
A Cross-Cutting Approach to Violence Prevention

Different forms of violence are connected. CDC’s Preventing Teen Dating and Youth Violence by Addressing Shared Risk and Protective Factors initiative funds 5 local health departments to engage in primary prevention activities. Using strategies based on the best available evidence, these local health departments and their community partners are modifying common risk and protective factors across multiple levels of the social ecological model. This initiative aligns with the Division of Violence Prevention’s Strategic Vision for Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence, which encourages a cross-cutting approach to prevent violence across the lifespan.

What are Shared Risk and Protective Factors?

Different types of violence are connected and often share the same root causes. Multiple forms of violence can take place under one roof, in the same community or neighborhood, at the same time, and at different stages of life. Understanding the overlapping causes of violence and the factors that can protect people and communities can help us better prevent violence in all its forms.

Connecting the Dots

Individual, relationship, and environmental factors can increase or decrease the likelihood of violence.  Characteristics and conditions that make it more likely that people will experience violence are called risk factors. Protective factors decrease the likelihood that people will experience violence or buffer against the effects of risk factors. Shared risk and protective factors impact multiple forms of violence.

For more information on shared risk and protective factors, visit Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence [2.51MB, 16Pages, 508].

Why was this Initiative Created?

Communities have limited resources and struggle to implement multiple strategies to prevent all forms of violence.  This initiative maximizes prevention efforts by reducing shared risk factors and enhancing shared protective factors for teen dating violence and youth violence. The multifaceted approach also addresses the connections between the risk and protective factors of individuals, their relationships, and the environments in which they live. This approach can increase the likelihood of reducing multiple forms of violence and of sustaining prevention efforts more than any single prevention activity.

What are the Activities of the Funded Local Health Departments?

Local health departments are well-positioned to support violence prevention efforts due to their access to data, relationships with the communities they serve, partnerships across multiple sectors, and experience working with young people. Local health departments supported by this initiative are implementing prevention programs and activities that are:

  • At multiple levels of the social ecological model, including the individual, relationship, and community levels;
  • Based on the best available evidence;
  • Addressing shared risk and protective factors;
  • Complementary; and
  • Reaching the number of people necessary to have a community-wide reduction in teen dating violence and youth violence.

The funded local health departments are implementing evidence-based programs and activities that address both teen dating violence and youth violence and impact shared risk and protective factors. The current grantees are implementing the following:

Grantee Profiles

Grantee Profiles
Baltimore City Health Department Safe Dates
Cure Violence
Houston Health Department Fourth R
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
Minneapolis Health Department Coaching Boys Into Men
Street and Community Outreach
Monterey County Health Department Safe Dates
Strengthening Families
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
Multnomah County Health Department Coaching Boys Into Men
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
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