Buffalo SNUG Violence Prevention Initiative works with residents, businesses, and community-based organizations to implement coordinated strategies to reduce and prevent shootings and killings in communities with high rates of violent crime. Violence Interrupters and Outreach Workers are culturally appropriate individuals who live in the community and can serve as credible messengers to high-risk individuals and groups.
SNUG follows the successful, evidence-based Cure Violence (formerly Ceasefire Illinois) model developed by the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention (CPVP) that has been employed nationally to combat street violence on the frontend. It is designed to help anti-violence community groups engaged in innovative tactics to prevent incidents of shootings and killings by identifying and intervening with those associated with shooting and killing and redirecting them to positive alternatives.
The actual mediations occur in a number of ways. Violence mediators may talk over the phone or one-on-one with key players, host small group sit-downs or peacekeeping sessions, foster diplomacy between groups, or bring in a respected third party to dissuade further violence and/ or negotiate conflicts. Once the key individuals have been approached or convened, violence interrupters employ a variety of different strategies to diffuse the situation, including creating cognitive dissonance by demonstrating contradictory thinking; changing the understanding of the situation to one which does not require violence; allowing parties to air their grievances; dispelling any misunderstandings; conveying the true costs of using violence; buying time to let emotions cool; and seeking out individuals who can use their influence to further assist in cooling down the situation with a potential shooter.
Buffalo SNUG Violence Prevention Initiative seeks to reverse trends in gun violence and gang activity in neighborhoods hardest hit by shootings and homicides. The program follows the successful, evidence-based Cure Violence model that has been employed in communities across the country to combat street violence on the frontlines.