What is WAVE? Who We Are
On 5 February 2001, 16 of the key members of WAVE met at Chichester in England to discuss and decide WAVE’s priorities for 2001.
It was decided that for 2001 WAVE’s priority would be promoting education on the benefits of early intervention in preventing the development of violent behaviour.
During the past 41/2 years WAVE has conducted an exhaustive review of world literature on the root causes of violent behaviour. We do not pretend that, as a result, we have found all the answers, as new research is constantly suggesting new perspectives. We do believe we now understand the core factors which contribute to the development of violent behaviour, and what may most effectively be done about those factors.
The results of WAVE’s past research are summarised in the articles "Digging up the Roots of Violence" (written in summer 1999) and "Nursery Crimes" (written in late 2000).
As a result of this work, WAVE has now turned its attention toward identifying effective methods of preventing the development of violent behaviour. WAVE members are also working on deepening our knowledge of effective methods of treating violent behaviour once it has developed.
A number of elements interact to produce violent behaviour: the inner impulse to be violent; opportunity; and a trigger. At this stage in our development WAVE’s focus is on addressing the first of these three. Most people in our societies do not act violently towards their children, partners, neighbours or strangers, even given opportunity and a trigger. Conversely, a high proportion of interpersonal violence is carried out by relatively few people. WAVE is concerned to understand what makes those people violent, believing the best way to reduce violence is to have fewer people with violence brewing inside them.
We recognise that other approaches to reducing violence are possible, and for the foreseeable future necessary, which address the Opportunity and Trigger factors. In time we may turn our attention to these also. For now we believe it is a higher priority to stop the flow of violent children, growing up with such inner aggression that they will, in time, need the controls of society to prevent that aggression bursting out in violence towards others.
At the Chichester meeting, papers were presented by Professor Kevin Browne from our Panel of Expert Advisers, trustee Sir Richard Bowlby and Research Co-ordinator George Hosking, on the subject of "What works in preventing the development of violent behaviour." The key points from their presentations will be posted elsewhere on this web site.
The recurring theme of the presentations, and the research on which they were based, was that early intervention works, and the earlier it takes place (e.g. pre-birth or at birth) the better.
The meeting then addressed the question "Given what works, what should be WAVE’s priorities in 2001?" Speakers in this part of the meeting included Hettie Einzig, WAVE member and Development Director of the Parenting Education and Support Forum; and Will McMahon, Organiser of the Children and Violence Forum, an organisation whose interests overlap with those of WAVE.
From this discussion emerged the priorities above.
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Root Causes, Alternatives, and Solutions to Violence
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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