Alternatives to Violence Project


What is AVP? 

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is an international training programme that enables participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Workshops are non-residential, run by our trained facilitators and experiential (i.e. not based on lectures).

How AVP began? 

AVP began in 1975 with an inmate group in Green Haven Prison in Dutchess County, New York, USA  while they were working with youth gangs and teenagers at risk. They sought assistance from the Quaker Project on community conflict, and from that original partnership of inmates and Quakers, AVP was born.

The original workshop was so successful that requests were soon received for more. As the programme developed, it quickly became evident that what was initially designed for prison inmates could be useful to everyone.  Community groups began to seek the AVP training, and workshops are now offered extensively in schools and in communities.

AVP currently conducts workshops in 44 of the US states and in about 50 countries worldwide.

AVP2Who can take part? 

It is a programme for everyone and it draws its participants and its trainers from people of all races and origins.

Our workshops use the shared experience of participants, interactive exercises, games and role-plays to examine the ways in which we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to aggressive behaviour and violence.

An AVP workshop can help you to:

  • manage strong feelings such as anger and fear
  • deal more effectively with risk and danger
  • build good relationships with other people
  • communicate well in difficult situations
  • recognise the skills you already have and learn new ones
  • be true to yourself while respecting other people
  • understand why conflict happens


AVP in Ireland

In Ireland at the moment most of our workshops take place in prisons – Wheatfield and Cloverhill prisons and in the Dochas center in Dublin, also in Castelrea prison. We’ve just started introducing the programme in secondary schools and we run several workshops a year in the community.

We are currently looking for facilitators to be trained to run AVP workshops in prisons and communities throughout Ireland. If you’re interested, please contact Dorothée at or phone 085 1512582.


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