The Community Violence Prevention Project

No one has the right to hurt you.

You are not to blame if you have been/are being hurt.

You can end isolation by accessing support services and networks.

There are concrete steps you can take to be safer at home, on the street, and anywhere you go.


“Your class didn’t just teach self-defense or how to fight, but it helped me learn about myself and find the power within myself to deal with situations or confrontations that arise.”– Sister Outsider (serving teen women)



“CAE’s training helps to restore to survivors something that is often lacking in other forums – a connection between mind, body, and spirit that may have been severed when they were assaulted.”

– Park Slope Safe Homes Project (serving domestic violence survivors)

The Community Violence Prevention Program (CVPP) offers community workshops, courses, and presentations in safety, self-defense, and stress reduction that utilize a holistic approach. CVPP is unique as a violence-prevention program because it combines practical safety information with an analysis of violence. CVPP challenges violence and empowers both individuals and communities by teaching participants different ways of speaking out and protecting themselves. This citywide education program reaches over 3,000 people a year.

Discussions cover strategies for safety and prevention, emotional aspects of self-defense, battering and other family issues, and concrete steps we can take to help ourselves, our families, and our communities be more safe.

Role plays allow participants to practice asserting themselves; taking care of themselves and setting clear boundaries with acquaintances, strangers, and family members; and building powerful voices.

Basic self-defense strategies include a full spectrum of responses, including the following: avoiding danger, yelling, getting away, tricking someone, defending with physical techniques, and seeking help afterwards.


Workshop participants range in age from kindergartners to elders in their 80’s. Most adult participants are women and transgender, but workshops can be mixed gender. We lead workshops in a wide variety of settings, including rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, community centers, churches, schools, and colleges. We have also worked with staff in workplaces ranging from home health-care providers to major financial corporations.

Each course, workshop, and presentation is tailored to meet the specific violence-prevention, safety, and stress reduction needs of the groups and individuals with whom we work. Basic self-defense strategies include ways to evade violence in a threatening encounter (whether with a stranger or someone we know), defending with verbal and physical techniques, and getting help afterwards.

Along with adult CVPP instructors, a group of specially trained peer educators co-lead workshops and courses for youth.

Course Fees

To help keep these vital services accessible, CVPP training is offered on a sliding scale, based upon organizational size and budget.

For more information or to set up a workshop, course, training, or presentation, contact us!

Safety Assessments

“This project… far surpassed our expectations. The CAE consultant observed many weaknesses in our security and had pragmatic, affordable and appropriate suggestions for resolving all of them. But the greatest value of CAE’s work with us was their deep understanding of the importance of maintaining an open and welcoming environment while protecting all who work here, learn here or seek services here.”

– Bailey House

CAE offers this unique service for non-profit, community-based organizations that seek to improve the safety and well being of staff and clients while maintaining a welcoming and supportive environment.

The Safety Assessment process can include any of the following: evaluation of office and program space with recommendations for improved environment, practical training, consultation on policy issues, and anti-violence analysis. This process is tailored to the specific needs of the agencies with whom we work.

All trainings are developed with an anti-violence perspective that links personal and community safety to understanding and opposing systems of social oppression. As we strive to address the security needs of staff and clients, we help the organization challenge bias based on sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or developmental ability, age, HIV / AIDS status, and socio-economic background.


Training Fees

To help keep these vital services available, Safety Assessments are offered on a sliding scale, based upon organizational size and budget. For more information, or to schedule an initial consultation please contact Susan Moesker, our CVPP coordinator: (718) 788-1775.

Upstander Training & Basic Self Defense


Why this workshop?

Upstander workshops are designed to equip those facing hate and violence with de-escalation skills and basic self-defense techniques. Additionally, this training empowers bystanders with the tools they need to help those facing harassment by choosing intentionally from a continuum of tactics. These two approaches combined offer New Yorkers unique and critical options for keeping our communities as safe as possible and mitigating violence.

More about this workshop

The workshop involves building mind/body awareness, awareness of gender and race issues when intervening, how to report hate incidents, and how individuals can become involved in a movement to end systemic hate and violence.

What can I expect?

The training is highly interactive and allows each participant to choose to practice strategies that match their personality and comfort level. We will practice assertive communication skills, some physical moves such as “head blocks” to protect yourself physically, and role play scenarios of harassment and Upstander intervention. Because so many people in our workshop are already survivors of harassment or violence, it is important to note that students are 100% in charge of their learning experience and may step out of activities at any time.

What is the Center for Anti-Violence Education and why are they offering this session?

The Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE) develops and implements comprehensive violence prevention programs for individuals and organizations. Through a combination of education, physical empowerment and leadership development, CAE provides underserved communities with skills to break cycles of violence—including assault, intimate partner violence, street harassment, and abuse.

Who is welcome to participate?

The trainings are open to all whether you identify as someone targeted by hate, someone who wishes to be an ally to targeted communities, or both.  Some groups may choose to focus more on self-defense and de-escalation skills and some more on Upstander skills.  Please let us know which you prefer.

Click here to see upcoming classes!