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Violence Prevention and Intervention Minor

About The Program

The Human Services Violence Prevention and Intervention (VPI) minor is a multidisciplinary 20-credit curriculum focusing on violence prevention and intervention.

Because the prevention of violence requires efforts across many disciplines, the VPI minor draws on a number of fields to prepare students to work in a broad range of human services. The VPI concentration can increase students' competence in a variety of areas including general human services, public health, corrections and criminal justice, public policy, education, sociology, psychology, and gender studies. These disciplines work together to promote effective prevention of and intervention in violence at the individual, family, and community levels.

Students who are VPI minors study not only the theories and dynamics of interpersonal violence, but various approaches to responding to and preventing violence as well.

Student outcomes


  • understand the complexity of violence in families and communities
  • can identify appropriate violence prevention and intervention community resources for a range of diverse needs

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Violence Prevention and Intervention Minor now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Violence Prevention and Intervention Minor

Program eligibility requirements

At least one course in sociology or psychology

Courses and Requirements


Requirements (20 credits)

+ Required coursework: Understanding Violence (4 credits)

Choose one. HSVP 300 is required for human services majors and all other majors at the university with the exception of Criminal Justice majors. Criminal Justice majors may take CJS 356 in place of HSVP 300.

This course examines causes and underlying factors that account for violence in American Society. Students examine the extent, causes and challenges of violence in today's society. For those students who work in the human services field, this course prepares them to identify and critique methods and strategies for addressing violence. It may be taken alone or as the first of three core courses required for the community violence prevention minor. Prerequisite: Courses in psychology or sociology.

Full course description for Violence: Origins and Explanations

Students will explore the nature and extent of the violence problem in the United States using a tripartite approach, which incorporates patterns, explanations, and interventions. The course will cover the history and epidemiology of violence; roots of violence, including biological, psychological, and sociological causes; specific types of violence; media portrayals of violence; the physical, emotional, social, economic, and political consequences of violence; and ways to control and prevent violence in our communities, including criminal justice and public health approaches.

Full course description for Violence in America

+ Required coursework: Responding to violence (4 credits)

This course addresses how violence is responded to at various levels. It examines the role and development of personal skills and involvement in addressing violence, community intervention resources, systems responses such as punishment and rehabilitation in violence prevention, social change movement responses to violence, and international violence and the growth of human rights movements.

Full course description for Violence: Individual, Community and Global Responses

+ Elective courses (12 credits)

Choose three

This course explores the connections between violence and disability. It investigates how models of disability affect the understanding of violence and abuse of people with disabilities as well as the response to such violence. The focus is on the lived experiences of people with disabilities who have experienced violence and abuse, and how systems and policies have aided or hindered successful interventions. The course also explores how being a victim of violence can affect a person's disability status and the implications of such a connection for policymakers, human services workers, and people with disabilities themselves. The course employs the socio-ecological model of violence prevention and challenges students to apply this model to case studies.

Full course description for Violence and Disability

This course examines gender violence in its multiple forms from a global perspective. An introduction to the history of violence against women, current theories and research on the causes of violence in intimate relationships, past and current responses, and interventions and prevention models to address this worldwide problem will be discussed. Understanding the multiple approaches for addressing gender violence will provide students the knowledge to describe culturally competent intervention and prevention strategies.

Full course description for Gender Violence in Global Perspective

This course is designed as an introduction to the study of family violence across the lifespan. It will introduce students to history, current theories, research, and policies in the three areas of family violence: child maltreatment, elder abuse, domestic violence. You will examine the cultural, social and political roots of family violence, as well as the dynamics of abuse in the family and in intimate relationships. You will explore the effects of abuse at the individual, family, and community levels, and be able to identify abusive and controlling behaviors. The content of the course focuses on current theories, research and policies on domestic violence (battering, sexual assault, stalking), child maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect) and abuse of vulnerable adults (elderly, non-elderly vulnerable populations). This course is an introduction to the topic. It will give students a basic overview of the issues across types of family violence…

Full course description for Family Violence Across the Lifespan

This course is designed to allow students to develop a working understanding and knowledge of Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice looks at the concept of justice through nontraditional and alternative viewpoints. Rather than focus on "what is the crime, who did the crime and what should the punishment be," Restorative Justice focuses on "who has been harmed, what was the harm and who is responsible to repair the harm." Students will examine Restorative Justice from historical, sociological, criminological and psychological perspectives. Throughout the course, a wide range of specific "restorative practices" will be studied, reviewed and analyzed. Some of the concepts the course will explore are trauma and healing, conflict transformation, issues related to juvenile justice, and alternative processes such as Victim-Offender Dialogue and the Circle Process. This course will have a community engaged learning component.

Full course description for Restorative Justice