Alternatives to Violence Project

Alternatives to Violence Project – Organisation


The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a nonprofit educational corporation which began nonviolence training in prisons in the USA in 1975.  This prison training soon revealed that the violence in prisons is merely a distilled version of the violence in society and that nonviolence training is needed as much, or more, in the outside community.  AVP has since spread to over 60 countries worldwide and is used in government corporations, NGOs, schools, universities, prisons, religious organisations and communities. 

The AVP non-violence training is a process of seeking and sharing, not of teaching.  AVP believes that the answers to violence lie within each individual.  For this reason the AVP training creates a ‘seeker-friendly’ environment which encourages participants to search within themselves for solutions and its experience-based workshops develop people’s natural abilities to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.

With its five central pillars of affirmation, communication, cooperation, community building and creative conflict resolution, AVP comprehensively introduces methods for reaching consensus and building relationships of reciprocity, resolving conflicts rather than reacting to them and learning communication skills that can de-escalate potentially violent and dangerous confrontations in any cultural environment.

At the urging of many incarcerated people, AVP has also developed a strong and extensive youth component.  Workshops have been geared to a variety of age levels and different community organisations supporting youth-at-risk.  A separate AVP Youth Manual was published in 2000. 

For more information, see the AVP International website currently on the USA website at  (Southern Africa website coming soon). You can also watch a video of an AVP workshop at: