Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Violence Prevention Initiative

Violence is a public health epidemic in our country and carries with it significant health and psychosocial consequences, particularly for young people. Tragically, today more than 40 percent of kids in the U.S. are exposed to some form of violence -- or the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person or group. Every year, hundreds of thousands of injured youth ages 10 to 24 are cared for in emergency departments across the country due to violence. The impact of violence can last long after the violence occurs.

When we support children exposed to violence, we can prevent:

  • Challenges related to physical, emotional and developmental health
  • Long-term physiologic and brain changes
  • School failure, drug abuse and delinquency
  • Future violence-related injuries and death

The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) at CHOP is an evidence-based effort to protect youth from violence. The program strives to reduce the incidence and impact of aggression on children and families in our community through educational programming in schools and the community, screening for risk in clinical settings, and direct casework with injured youth and their family members. It has become a national and global model for hospital-based and community-delivered violence prevention.

What: A hospital-led, community-involved violence prevention model

VPI Co-Directors Joel Fein and Stephen Leff

The VPI model works to reduce the incidence and impact of violence and aggression on children and families in our community. We work to transform youth violence prevention research into action that shapes policy, engages community partners, and creates and refines methods of violence prevention and treatment interventions.

VPI trauma-informed practices:

  • Prevent violence and aggression
  • Support at-risk populations
  • Help our patients heal

Learn more about the variety of violence awareness/prevention projects that are also underway across CHOP and the CHOP Care Network.

Who: Violence prevention experts from a pediatric hospital

Meet our team of multidisciplinary researchers and clinicians who specialize in understanding the causes and impact of different types of violence on youth. We are led by Co-directors Joel Fein, MD, MPH, and Stephen Leff, PhD.

How: Help us stop violence and support healing

Ongoing research continuously refines and improves our programmatic efforts and the content of this website to make the greatest impact. Be sure to check back for new information and updated content.