Can urban violence be regarded as an opportunity to change institutions ?

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Founder, the association Transformations Thérapies Sociales (Transformations and Social Therapies)

Seminar Social life | Thursday September 16, 1999

Some people feel powerless when they are confronted with an environment which they see as threatening. Acts of violence are a result of this feeling. The association Transformations Thérapies Sociales suggests that people who are victims of violence or perpetrators of violence should contribute to local institutional changes (for instance in the police force, the post office, and the municipal services) by taking part in working groups which integrate different kinds of people (such as public service workers and residents) who have to deal with these problems. At best, people ignore each other, at worst, they hate each other, but they willingly take part because everyone wants to see an improvement in the situation and wants to voice his opinion. In general, the meetings begin in a very confrontational atmosphere, but gradually people start exchanging information. A sort of cease fire transpires, people start to understand the situation and eventually suggestions are put forward. The initial conflict is transformed into a force for change.

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