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OFFICE OF VIOLENCE PREVENTION


Contact Us

Office of Violence Prevention 1000 South Fremont Ave.
Bldg. A-9, East 5th Floor
Alhambra, CA 91803

Phone: 626.293.2610
Email: ovp@ph.lacounty.gov

  Office of Violence Prevention

Countywide Office of Violence Prevention

On February 19, 2019, the LA County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion to officially establish the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) within the Department of Public Health (DPH). Per the Board Motion, the charge of the office is to improve coordination and support existing efforts across the county to prevent multiple forms of violence, through a renewed focus on prevention, and to ensure that strategies are responsive to community, and trauma informed. One of the first tasks of OVP was to develop an Early Implementation Strategic Plan to identify the initial priorities for OVP implementation that best utilizes existing resources and fosters healing through innovation, coordination, communication, and policy change.

OVP Strategic Plan - View the OVP Strategic Plan herePDF Icon

In the United States we have tended to address violence as an inevitable part of human nature that must be managed through law enforcement. The decision of the Board of Supervisors to house the OVP within the Department of Public Health suggests an alternative view, that violence can be understood much as we understand a preventable disease. The methods used by public health to prevent disease generally operate at the systems level (for example, policies enforcing clean water, workplace safety, or red and green lights to control traffic flow) and the population level (for example vaccines which make people unavailable as hosts to harmful organisms, the universal adoption of seat belts, changes in cultural norms that reduce smoking behavior, health education campaigns that promote hygiene habits to reduce the spread of infection). These same kinds of strategies are applicable when addressing violence.

Violence is not an inevitable part of human life. In fact, forms of violence that we see as everyday events in the United States, including street violence and mass killings, occur far less often or not at all in many parts of the world. There is much we don’t understand about violence. It is clear, however, that violence must be understood in context: that social and economic conditions, system policies and practices, cultural norms, and an individual’s history of trauma interact and influence the trajectory of violence. Economic desperation, social isolation, lack of support, discrimination, and inequality of income and power across groups play important roles in the perpetuation of violence. While we know that violence is related to chronic disease, mental health, and race inequities, our program and service efforts do not reflect the interwoven nature of these issues. Our County and community efforts are often uncoordinated due to a narrow focus on specialty, geography, population or strategy, siloed thinking and fragmented funding. A cultural shift is needed to adequately address the complexity of violence and trauma if we are to reduce the burden of injury, disability, and death that impact those most often exposed to violence.

The OVP Strategic Plan will guide the infrastructure and initial priorities of OVP for the next 5 years. Outlined below is our vision, mission, core values and guiding principles. Please see the OVP Strategic Plan plan for additional data and detailed goals and objectives.

Vision

A violence free LA County where all individuals are safe, healthy and thrive.

Mission

The Office of Violence Prevention works to strengthen coordination, capacity and partnerships to address the root causes of violence, and to advance policies and practices that are grounded in race equity, to prevent all forms of violence and to promote healing across all communities in LA County.

Values

The Office of Violence Prevention works to strengthen coordination, capacity and partnerships to address the root causes of violence, and to advance policies and practices that are grounded in race equity, to prevent all forms of violence and to promote healing across all communities in LA County.

  • Inclusiveness & Diversity: We understand that diverse community and survivor knowledge is indispensable to violence prevention and healing efforts. We are dedicated to ensuring that the voices of community members and survivors are central to violence prevention planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Collaboration: We are committed to providing a meaningful and effective nexus among entities working in violence prevention and trauma informed practice to highlight and build on existing efforts and identify new opportunities for creative joint program, policy and systems change.
  • Capacity-Building: We seek to increase the effectiveness of communities and practitioners engaged in violence prevention and healing work by promoting access to resources, identifying best and promising practices, providing training and technical assistance, and serving as a data and information hub.
  • Equity & Justice: We name, acknowledge and address racism, discrimination and structural violence. We promote a culture and narrative that rejects stereotyping and victim blaming and prioritizes the needs of marginalized communities.
  • Accountability: Our processes, decisions and actions will be transparent and communicated regularly. Data will be culturally relevant, publicly accessible and used consistently to understand the impacts of violence and to measure outcomes to improve practice and achieve our intended results.

Guiding Principles

  • Community Engaged We will partner with local stakeholders, community members and survivors to understand the strengths and needs of communities and to gather lessons learned; we will collaborate to identify and implement just, effective and innovative solutions.
  • Culturally Inclusive We respect and value the uniqueness of each distinct experience and perspective and will work together to realize the synergistic results produced by integrating the richest possible diverse expressions of identity.
  • Grounded in Science We will use data and research to inform our decisions at all levels and to evaluate promising practices that address the needs of individuals, families and communities.
  • Trauma-Informed We will engage County and community partners, the County workforce and service providers in our efforts to address the impact of trauma on community members and survivors and to build County systems that serve and support all residents.
  • Focus on Upstream Prevention We will focus on prevention and upstream solutions while recognizing and addressing the intersection of all types of violence and multiple health and socio-economic disparities. We will bring multiple sectors together to address shared root causes and the full spectrum of resulting impacts.
  • Strength-Based We will work to ensure that the specific strengths and assets of each individual and community are acknowledged and incorporated in our work.
  • Youth-Engaged We will build opportunities and infrastructure to engage and empower youth and youth voice to inform policies and programs and to play a leadership role in violence prevention and healing efforts. We will work with partners to incorporate a developmental lens in policies, practices and programs.

We are grateful for the tremendous show of support from stakeholders across the county and from multiple county department in helping to establish the Office of Violence Prevention. We look forward to ongoing conversations to ensure that a wide range of voices and perspectives is incorporated to inform the strategic plan and the work ahead.

If you have questions or comments about OVP or would like to be included in an upcoming listserv, contact us at ovp@ph.lacounty.gov or call 626.293.2610

  Board Correspondence

In 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved the motion, “Addressing the Epidemic of Gun Violence in Our Communities” (Kuehl/Ridley-Thomas, March 13, 2018), to create an integrated Countywide Violence Prevention Initiative. In 2019, the Board passed a follow-up motion, “Supporting Efforts for the Prevention of Violence in Our Communities - Establishing the Office of Violence Prevention” (Kuehl/Ridley-Thomas, February 19, 2019), to officially establish the Los Angeles County (County) Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) housed within the Department of Public Health. The CEO identified at least $6,000,000 in unobligated funding in the Measure B Special Revenue Fund to support the OVP, including funding for OVP operations and for contracts with community organizations in each Service Planning Area (SPA) to provide leadership for local antiviolence efforts.

  Launching OVP

OVP Launch Event: April 5, 2019

DPH, in a partnership with Supervisorial District 2, and many community and county partners, hosted a public launch event of OVP during Public Health Week. For more information, visit: LA County Highlights Violence Prevention

Eradicating Community Violence: Stopping violence before it starts from Los Angeles County Newsroom

  Governance Structure

OVP will provide multiple opportunities for a variety of stakeholders to be involved in strategic planning and implementation. The Governance Structure chart can be viewed here.PDF Icon

  • A County Leadership Committee was established in January 2019 to facilitate coordination across departments and to guide OVP efforts as well as identify systems change opportunities.

  • A Community Partnership Council was established in October 2019 to provide infrastructure for community partners across the county and with expertise in multiple forms of violence to facilitate communication between their broader stakeholder networks and OVP and guide strategic planning and implementation. Council members serve a two-year term.

Mission: The charge of the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) County Leadership Committee is to communicate, manage, advise and serve as a formal stakeholder in the early implementation phase of OVP, and guide the development, implementation, and monitoring of the strategic plan and its vision to improve the safety and wellbeing of Los Angeles County individuals, families and communities.

  • Alternate Public Defender

    Ericka Anzaotegui
  • Center for Strategic Partnerships

    Kate Anderson
    Elizabeth Cohen
  • Children & Family Services

    Bobby Cagle
    Jennifer Hottenroth
  • Consumer & Business Affairs

    Joseph Nicchitta
    Maritza Gutierrez
    Rafael Carbajal
  • Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee

    Mark Delgado
    Sergio Vasquez
  • Fire Department

    Daryl Osby
    Will Pryor
  • Human Relations Commission

    Robin Toma
    Robert Sowell
    Theresa Villa-McDowell
  • Medical-Examiner Coroner

    Dr. Jonathan Lucas
    Paul Parker
  • Military & Veterans Affair

    Ruth Wong
  • Office of Diversion & Reentry

    Judge Peter Espinoza
  • Parks & Recreation

    Norma E. Garcia
    Faith Parducho
    Carmen Garrido
  • Public Defender

    Ricardo D. Garcia
    John Alan
  • Public Library

    Skye-Ephifanie Patrick
    Deborah Anderson
    Kelly Hubert
  • Public Works

    Mark Pestrella
    Emma Ayala
  • Sheriff's Department

    Alex Villanueva
    Chief Myron Johnson
    Chief Laura Lecrivain
  • Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services

    Otto Solorzano
  • Arts Commission

    Kristin Sakoda
    Denise Grande
  • Chief Executive Office

    Fesia Davenport
    Abbe Land
    Nicole Bryant
  • Los Angeles County Development Authority

    Monique King-Viehland
    Betsy Lindsay
  • District Attorney

    George Gascon
    Ron Geltz
    Joanne Baeza
  • Health Services

    Ghristina Ghaly
    Venise Russ
  • Human Resources

    Lisa Garrett
    Cynthia Harding
  • Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

    Heidi Marston
    Cristina Cortes
  • Mental Health

    Jonathan E. Sherin
    Debbie Innes-Gomberg
    Wendi Tovey
  • Office of Child Protective Services

    Judge Michael Nash
    Barbara Spyrou
  • Office of Education

    Debra Duardo
    Jewel Forbes
    Arturo Valdes
  • Probation

    Ray Leyva
    Reaver Bingham
  • Public Health

    Dr. Barbara Ferrer
    Deborah Allen
    Andrea Welsing
    Kelly Fischer
  • Public Social Services

    Antonia Jimenez
    Gabriela Herrera
    Araceli Dominguez
  • Regional Planning

    Amy Bodek
    Tahirah Farris

Mission: The Mission of the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) Community Partnership Council is to serve as a liaison between community stakeholders and OVP to elevate local priorities and enhance collaboration; and to guide the development and monitoring of the strategic plan and its vision to improve the safety and wellbeing of Los Angeles County individuals, families and communities.

  • Akuyoe Graham

    Spirit Awakening Foundation
  • Barbara Kappos

    East Los Angeles Women’s Center
  • Cathy Friedman

    LA County Prevention & Population Health Task Force
  • Diego H. Rodriguez

    Alma Family Services Inc.
  • Em Jackson

    Free From
  • Gilbert Salinas Jr.

    Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center
  • Jackie L. Morris

    Individual Member
  • Lucy Herrera

    Legacy LA
  • Rabeya Sen

    Esperanza Community Housing Corp.
  • Sandri Kramer

    Didi Hirsch
  • Skipp Townsend

    2nd Call
  • Father Stan Bosch

    Soledad Enrichment Action,
    St. Raphael’s Church
  • Stephany Powell

    Journey Out
  • Alexis Claiborne

    Valley Oasis
  • Bridget Cervelli

    Individual Member
  • Damon Clark

    LAC+USC Medical Center
  • Elisa Jimenez

    California Mental Health Connection
  • Gilbert Johnson

    Community Coalition
  • Herman Corteza

    Pacific Clinics
  • Javier Stauring

    Healing Dialogue & Action
  • Margot Bennett

    Women Against Gun Violence
  • Rochelle Dicker

    UCLA School of Medicine
  • Sara Joy Wilshinsky

    St. John's Well Child & Family Center
  • Sonya Young Aadam

    California Black Women's Health Project
  • Tiffany Duvernay

    The Center for Nonviolent Education & Parenting

  OVP Updates

DHR/OVP Workplace Violence Prevention Training Workgroup

In October 2019, the Department of Human Resources (DHR), in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH) Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), developed an interdepartmental workgroup in response to July 2019 shooting events in Lancaster, CA; Gilroy, CA; El Paso, TX; and Dayton, OH. The purpose of the Training Workgroup is to create a comprehensive set of training materials and tools that could equip all County staff with the means necessary to:

  • 1. Actively prevent violence in the workplace;
  • 2. Mitigate the consequences of violence if it occurs including clarification of roles and responsibilities
  • 3. Recover and heal after a violent event.

The Workgroup serves as a high-level advisory committee and meets monthly. As a prelude to project efforts, the Workgroup organized a presentation from San Bernardino County in December 2019 to learn about the shooting event in December 2015 that forever changed their Environmental Health Workforce. Twenty-six (26) County Departments participated in a tabletop exercise following the presentation to gather input from the participants on existing and needed resources to support violence prevention in the workplace.

  Strategic Planning Progress and Reports

First5LA provided matching funds to DPH to support OVP strategic planning and has contracted with Chapin Hall to do this work. First5LA has also shared information and expertise from the Center for Collective Wisdom to incorporate a trauma informed systems approach into OVP.

  Stakeholder Engagement

  • March 13, 2019: California Wellness Foundation partnered with DPH to host a convening, Building a Movement for Violence Prevention in LA County,PDF Icon bringing together violence prevention and intervention experts across multiple forms of violence.

  • March 18, 2019: Prevention Institute presented their analysis of Stakeholder Perspectives and RecommendationsPDF Icon regarding OVP to community partners at Belvedere Park.

  • DPH conducted more than 25 stakeholder interviews with organizations dedicated to violence prevention across the county and continues to talk with partners to inform ongoing work of OVP.

  • DPH surveyed county departments to understand their current violence prevention efforts and to identify opportunities to align efforts.

  Data: Impact of Violence & Co-Occurring Factors

DPH is compiling and analyzing a variety of data sources to better understand the impact of multiple forms of violence in LA County and co-occurring facts that contribute to violence. These analyses will help prioritize the work of OVP and determine how best to build infrastructure for data sharing and evaluation.

  Communications

Gun Violence Day Press Release

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) recognizes Gun Violence Awareness DayPDF Icon by reminding everyone that gun violence is preventable, and the epidemic of gun violence is one of the most significant public health issues of current times.

In a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed June 2, 2019 as Gun Violence Awareness Day joining other jurisdictions in support of research into the causes and solutions to gun violence including policy change at the federal level.

“Violence in all forms is unacceptable but gun violence in particular is an issue of grave concern given its lethality and the daily toll we see in the lives of victims and their family and friends, and in society overall,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MED, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Efforts are needed at all levels to address the scourge of gun violence and to create communities where everyone feels safe and can thrive."

For more information and to participate in Gun Violence Awareness Day Activities, visit:

 
 
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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