Flowers and tributes as part of a public vigil

Violence Prevention

Aims to reduce violence in Mecklenburg County by collaborating with County, City, partners, and community to increase opportunity and build healthier, more resilient communities.

“We have great organizations and committed people in our community, but many of these organizations are at the grassroots level. They are working hard in their respective spaces, but we also know they need support in areas and I know OVP can help.” 

Tracie Campbell, Mecklenburg County Public Health Office of Violence Prevention (OVP)

Violence as a Public Health Issue

Violence is one of the most significant health problems in the United States not only because of death and injury, but also because of the harm, fear, and trauma caused to families and communities. It leads to a broad range of physical and mental health problems that disproportionately impact children, youth, and communities of color.

Approaching violence as a public health issue means identifying the root causes of this epidemic and using data, tools, and evidence-informed best practices to address those causes.


Preventing Violence at Three Levels

Primary: Stopping Violence Before It Occurs:
Strategies like youth development programs and community mentoring programs reduce risk factors and increase protective factors.

Secondary: Immediate Responses to Violence: 
Strategies like violence interrupter programs disrupt violent situations and provide immediate services for victims following an incident; hospital-based violence intervention programs can provide short-term assistance in addition to emergency medical care for victims of shootings.

Tertiary: Long-term Response to Violence:
Approaches such as restorative justice programs and re-entry programs focus on the longer-term impacts and consequences of violence to either prevent further harm or to prevent repeated acts of violence.

New in 2024

The Way Forward is Mecklenburg County’s Community Violence Strategic Plan. It addresses violence as a public health issue, a threat that impacts any and all residents.

With the launch of The Way Forward, the Office of Violence Prevention has been in building the foundation to roll out the work through community partners.

The next step has arrived and OVP is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the Peacekeepers Academy. Through a competitive process, area organizations applied to participate in the Peacekeepers Academy.

The Way Forward


“Grassroots organizations are the backbone of this work to stop and prevent community violence. Their work, passion, and commitment are an inspiration to us all. We want to help these community partners create a sustainable pathway with tools and resources. We don’t want them to burn out because this work is intense. By having the Peacekeepers Academy, we can help each cohort build the resiliency they need to prevent community violence.”

Dr. Kimberly Scott, Assistant Public Health Director of Population Health, which oversees OVP

  • Peacekeepers Academy

    Peace Keeper Academy Mecklenburg County Logo

    "Building community impact."

    Peacekeepers Academy is an interactive learning series designed to build resiliency for community-based organizations working to address community violence in Mecklenburg County. Over the course of 8 sessions, participant organizations will learn and receive the following:

    • Education/technical assistance from experts focused on violence prevention
    • Best practices on organizational efficiency
    • Learn how to measure and track success
    • Learn to increase scalability of services
    • Learn holistic public health approaches to prevent and interrupt the cycle of violence
    • Financial grant to support efforts to learn, implement and achieve resiliency which may include dedicated computers to track an organization’s work.

    Here's the list of the first Peacekeepers Academy Cohort. Each cohort will receive up to $15,000:

    • A Giving Heart Project  
    • Ausie & Martin Rivens Scholarship Foundation  
    • Carla A Carlisle, LLC  
    • Concrete Roses Life Center  
    • Family Mankind
    • Gryphon Group Advisory + Consulting, LLC
    • Help Adolescents Speak Out
    • The Queens Collective Birthing
    • Unique Blessings
    • Youth Education & Arts

Programs and Partnerships

  • Alternatives to Violence

    ATV Alternatives to Violence Logo

    To develop safer communities, the city of Charlotte is implementing the SAFE Charlotte initiative which includes violence interruption, hospital-based violence intervention and $1 million in grants to local organizations. The initiative also includes pathways to employment and affordable housing. 

    In partnership with Cure Violence GlobalYouth Advocate Programs, and Urban League of the Central Carolinas, the city and Mecklenburg County launched the Alternatives to Violence (ATV) program in corridors along Beatties Ford Rd, West Blvd, Remount Rd, Nations Ford Rd, and Arrowood Rd.

  • Community Violence Data Dashboard

    Working professional training new employee at a computer

    The Violence Prevention Data Collaborative (VPDC) is a partnership between local government and non-government agencies in Mecklenburg County. This partnership began in August 2020 with the purpose of combining and sharing data on violent crime in Mecklenburg County. 

    Data from the VPDC is used to make decisions about programs and policies and to measure the impact of violence prevention programs across the county. The Office of Violence Prevention is one of several local government agencies representing Mecklenburg County. 

    View the Community Violence Data Dashboard

  • Violence Awareness and Gun Safety

    graffiti artist spraying the word love on a wall

    MCPH, Novant and Atrium have partnered to develop and distribute awareness materials related to gun violence and gun safety, including flyers and a children's activity book. Please click the links below to view and download the materials.

    Safe Gun Storage Infographic

    Violence free Zone Infographic

    Stop the Violence Activity Packs


    Violence Free Zone Awareness Campaign 

    The Clean Graffiti Awareness Campaign places of "clean graffiti" messages on sidewalks in areas that see higher rates of violence.


  • Carolina Violence Prevention Collaborative

    Close up of African American woman showing stop gesture with hand blurred background, young female protesting against domestic violence and abuse, bullying, saying no to gender discrimination

    Local community-based organizations (CBOs), nonprofit groups, local government agencies, health care providers and private sector partners can join the Carolina Violence Prevention Collaborative as either a partner or a member. Interested representatives should contact the the CVPC at [email protected] regarding collaborative meetings and other events related to violence prevention and education in our region.

    Perks of Membership and Partnership with the CVPC: 

    • Special recognition and “shout-outs” for higher level of commitment to the CVPC,
    • Opportunities to fill roles and responsibilities to help sustain the Collaborative,
    • Opportunities to participate in and lead CVPC sub-committees (leadership available to Members only) 
    • Opportunities to promote and share your organization/agency, work, audience(s) and upcoming events during CVPC meetings,
    • Opportunities to act as a guest speaker at meetings (available to Members only) 
    • Opportunities to be featured or highlighted in any website or social media content released by the CVPC (available to Members only)
  • ReCAST

    group of hands in huddle

    Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) is a grant-funded program through Mecklenburg County Public Health, running from December 2022 to December 2026. The program, which is currently in Cycle II, is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Contact Us

Have questions? We would love to hear from you.