The Role of Public Education in Violence Prevention

Stephanie Shapiro, University of Illinois at Chicago
Tim Metzger, University of Illinois at Chicago
Gary Slutkin, Chicago Proj. for Violence Preven, UICl

The Chicago Project for Violence Prevention (CeaseFire) utilizes a grass-roots public education campaign to challenge existing beliefs related to violence in Chicago communities. This paper examines intensity of public education distribution and reports changes in awareness of violence prevention efforts, visibility of messaging, and community violence.

CeaseFire began public education messaging in six Chicago communities in 2000. Since then, over 600,000 public education materials were distributed. West Garfield Park has received the most materials (143,600). Awareness of violence prevention activities increased in West Garfield Park from 5.8% (2001) to 16.9% (2002) (P<.01).

Due to varying dosages of distribution, it is possible to compare levels of distribution and awareness of violence prevention and draw conclusions regarding the correlation between dosage and awareness. Preliminary data shows declines in shooting violence in communities that received the greatest public education distribution in concert with a strong outreach component.

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Updated 05/20/2006