Crime and Violence Prevention Project
El Salvador, with 103 murders per 100,000 residents in 2015, has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Reported robberies, assaults, rapes and missing persons also showed significant increases from the year before.
The U.S. Agency for International Development-funded El Salvador Violence and Crime Prevention Project is addressing this troubling situation by improving the ability of communities, municipalities and national institutions to address violent crime.
Building on Creative’s success with violence prevention programs elsewhere in Central America, this five-year project has to date reached more than 53,000 Salvadorans through community-focused initiatives in 55 Salvadoran municipalities.
Creative collaborates with the government of El Salvador to develop the National System for the Prevention of Violence Law. It also assists the government with the implementation of the National Strategy for Violence Prevention, a vital document that sets country-wide policy and empowers municipalities to take the lead on prevention projects. Creative helps implement the strategy by carrying out diagnostics and creating crime and violence prevention plans in a total of 41 municipalities.
At the municipal level, a complete diagnostic guide incorporates 13 risk factors developed by Creative to identify issues facing youth. Creative uses this information to develop crime and violence prevention plans, which create solutions for at-risk youth through prevention tools and programming. Currently, the program has 40 prevention tools at its disposal.
The program is also creating municipal observatories, which will collect and corroborate crime and violence data. In 40 municipalities, the project has supported the development of Municipal Crime and Violence Prevention Committees that will create action plans in their communities.
Since the program began, more than 20,000 youth and community members have benefited from 123 outreach centers, which boast a total of 704 volunteers. More than 3,200 youth have received employment orientation training, while 872 youth across 12 municipalities have participated in Youth Clubs, which promote art, music, dance clubs and outdoor activities.
By the project’s end, Creative anticipates a higher level of safety for Salvadorans living in the 55 target municipalities, as well as stronger community, municipal and national structures that are able to respond to and prevent violent crime.
Fifty-five municipalities in El Salvador are developing innovative solutions to prevent crime and violence and generate opportunities for at-risk youth. See how the USAID Crime and Violence Prevention Project is making a difference.
El Salvador recognizes successes in violence prevention
Six development projects, including public space restoration and youth Outreach Centers, were recently celebrated for their contributions to crime and violence prevention in El Salvador. Learn More...
Writing for resilience: Young Salvadoran authors share their stories
A series of writing workshops turned a group of nearly 90 young Salvadorans into published authors - and gave them tools to work through difficult experiences with their words. Learn More...
Jenny Willier Murphy
Georgina Mendoza McDowell