Violence Prevention Initiative

REAL LIFE is launching the Violence Prevention Initiative, a comprehensive approach to address violence in through programs and partnerships. VPI will address violence through three populations: those engaged or at high risk to be engaged in violence, communities impacted by violence, and law enforcement and community stakeholders seeking to address violence.

REAL LIFE is uniquely positioned to make VPI a success. All of the components of VPI allow REAL LIFE to build upon the strong foundation of services we currently provide, including intensive case management, transitional recovery housing, behavior modification curriculum, employment support, and education support.
Safe, Alive, and Free

Safe, Alive, and Free (SAF) works to target the very small but specific groups of individuals associated with the vast majority of violence in a community. Once a group of individuals is identified by law enforcement, those individuals will be brought in for a “call-in.” The call-in is coordinated by REAL LIFE’s VPI Coordinator, an individual with the lived experiences necessary to reach these groups.

During this call-in meeting, a coalition of law enforcement, community members, and community organizations come together with the group. REAL LIFE and other community organizations make a genuine offer of help with whatever resources the members of the group identify as needed (i.e. housing, employment, sobriety). Community members and other individuals with moral authority discuss the impact violence has had on their communities, families, and loved ones. Law enforcement lets the group know that they have identified them as a group likely to commit violence and they will be targeted should further violence occur. This method disrupts the group dynamic, maximizing the likelihood of success.

We are proud to launch SAF in Hopewell. We are working on development and establishing the foundatino of SAF now, and plan to hav ea full role out of the program in the community by June 1, 2023.

The REAL Resilience Project

Each instance of violence impacts not only the perpetrator and victim, but also their entire community. Our REAL Resilience Project works to organize communities around ACE (adverse childhood experience) prevention and intervention, as well as building resilience among those impacted by ACEs.

By providing communities, local stakeholders, and community organizations with a better understanding of the devastating impact ACEs can have on an individual over the course of their life, as well as an understanding of what behaviors are frequently associated with ACEs, communities where children traditionally experience higher rates of ACEs will be able to organize to provide effective supports. By giving a name to the issue and understanding it better, it’s easier to remediate and prevent the issue from continuing to arise.

Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Program

Through our successful partnership with RPD’s Divert program and the Virginia Department of Health, REAL LIFE currently provides our existing services and resource coordination to perpetrators of domestic and intimate partner violence. Local courts have begun referring DV and IPV perpetrators to REAL LIFE as an alternative to incarceration. In addition to the current programming, Lifers who are a part of this program also complete a trauma-informed behavior modification curriculum specifically geared for DV and IPV perpetrators.