Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI)

Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) – Organisation


The Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) facilitates debate, research and interventions across the University of Cape Town (UCT), with a focus on understanding and responding to violence, and promoting safety. The initiative brings together scholars from a number of departments, centres and units across UCT. SaVI made its public debut on 1 April 2011, and is one of four multi-disciplinary strategic ventures at UCT. The current Director of SaVI (Guy Lamb) was appointed in October 2012.

To work towards safe communities and countries, where freedom and security are the norm, rather than the exception.  

To establish research collaborations that will contribute to promoting safety, reducing violence and to raising awareness about these issues within South Africa and other African countries. As university-based research collaboration a key feature of SaVI’s role will be to develop theory and to translate this into practice. This will be accomplished through:

  • Enabling researchers to engage and cooperate across disciplinary boundaries;
  • Facilitating socially responsive research;
  • Building a “critical mass” of researchers focusing on violence prevention and safety promotion;
  • Making wider and more efficient use of existing research resources on safety and violence;
  • Developing research capacity in the study of safety and violence;
  • Participating in relevant national and international networks, including links with civil society and the public sector; and
  • Facilitating the dissemination of research.

Giving Life to the Vision and Mission
To realise its vision and mission SaVI has three principal functional areas:

  • Research: Identification, facilitation and coordination of strong multi-, cross- and trans-disciplinary research projects.
  • Teaching: Facilitating the development of inter-disciplinary teaching on understanding and preventing violence at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • Social Responsiveness: Undertaking evidence-based research; producing publications; and engaging in public education activities on the prevention of violence and the promotion of safety that are relevant to communities and governments affected by violence.
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