The Alternatives to Violence Project is a network of skilled volunteers who run workshops for anyone who wants to find ways of resolving conflict without resorting to violence. We work in the community and in prisons.
The thinking behind AVP
We understand that conflict is a natural and normal part of life, and that it is possible to learn new ways of handling it. By holding workshops in which the participants consider the underlying causes of friction and violence, practical ways of dealing with situations of conflict are worked out.
Our workshops build on everyday experiences and try to help us move away from violent or abusive behaviour by developing other ways of dealing with conflicts. They help us to increase the respect we have for ourselves and others.
AVP began in 1975 in a New York prison when the inmates asked local Quakers to help them to devise a programme to support young prisoners to resolve conflict non-violently. The programme spread quickly to other prisons and to the wider community. Workshops are now offered in a variety of community and residential settings in over 50 countries. They run in a range of settings including in refugee camps in Kenya, prisons in the United States and in schools in Australia.
In 1989 the programme came to Britain. It began as a Quaker-led group but gained independence as AVPBritain in 1997.
The low-cost workshops are run in prisons and in the community and there is a six-week distance learning course called ‘Facing up to Conflict’ for use in prisons.
Our Vision and Mission
AVP Britain’s vision is a nonviolent society.
Our mission is to support people, particularly those in hardship, to learn how to handle conflict, resist violence and build stronger relationships.