How to be an Interruptor

Reposted from Hollaback! 
Originally Published on October 5,2011 at 12:26 pm

BY ANNIE BOGGS

Is there a way to reduce violence in communities without traditional police intervention? What about through disease-control methods? Enter CeaseFire, an awesome Chicago-based organization.

CeaseFire curbs violence through an on-the-ground approach by using professionals from the actual communities to intervene in crises and mediate conflicts. They make use of a public health-inspired model:

1. Identification & detection
2. Interruption, Intervention, & risk reduction
3. Changing behavior and norms

They are working, overall, to change how we think about violence and overturn the conventional “prosecution over prevention” approach. They aim to find a solution to the epidemic of violence in other ways than incarceration.

Interested? A new documentary called “The Interrupters” follows a year in the footsteps of the CeaseFire crew who “interrupt” violence on the streets. You can find screenings here.

This method isn’t just confined to CeaseFire, however. You can also be an “interruptor” in your own life, as shown in this great article. Interrupting racist or sexist discourse, and of course, street harassment, is one big way to cause change in your own community. The ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ campaign is one big way Hollaback! is working on bystander prevention.

Overall, CeaseFire is employing a refreshing approach to a seemingly unstoppable problem. Like Hollaback!, theirs is a grassroots movement that really takes the local community into account. Go CeaseFire!

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