Overall Concept

Gesamtkonzept Kotti

The Berlin Violence Prevention Unit (VPU) was set up by the Berlin State Commission Against Violence in July 2020. The latter was established in 1995 on the recommendation of the Independent Commission on Preventing and Combating Violence in Berlin, which published a comprehensive final report on its work in 1994.

The Berlin State Commission celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020, which also provided an opportunity to compile a new overall concept, “Berlin against Violence”. Twenty-five years after the publication of the Independent Committee’s substantive report, the first comprehensive stocktaking, accounting und evaluation of violence prevention in Berlin was undertaken. The cornerstones of the overall concept were agreed at the 87th meeting of the Berlin State Commission Against Violence in February 2020.

The Youth Violence Prevention Unit at Camino was entrusted with drawing up the overall concept. Its successor, the VPU, is monitoring the planning of further measures and the implementation of the overall concept.

The overall concept includes:

  • A description of the starting position in Berlin (burden of violence, current challenges),
  • An inventory of all the relevant publicly-funded measures, differentiated on a departmental basis,
  • Goals for the further development of violence prevention in Berlin,
  • Approaches to action planning and
  • Cornerstones for a modern prevention concept.

Underlying the overall concept “Berlin against Violence” is a further definition of violence that encompasses particularly non-physical manifestations of violence, e.g. in digital space, too. The focus is on tackling interpersonal violence, i.e. violence-related phenomena with specific responsible parties and injured parties.

At the same time, the overall concept uses a narrow definition of prevention. It is initiatives and activities that are explicitly aimed at preventing or combating violence that are particularly taken into account. Unspecific activities that in the best-case scenario also prevent violence but do not formulate this as a goal are only taken into consideration in exceptional cases. All prevention levels, i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, are taken into account.

The overall concept “Berlin against Violence” has been drawn up by the VPU in close co-operation with Berlin Senate departments and relevant officials at the district level. Services and additional needs were investigated in two waves of surveys with interim results provided and co-ordinated on an on-going basis. In addition to involvement of administration, the VPU has also put emphasis on an open participatory process. Experts from specialist practice and civil society have voiced their opinions in a total of five specialist dialogues and shared their expectations at state level.

The basic principles of the development phase also influence the VPU’s further elaboration of the overall concept and monitoring of its implementation. In updating the overall concept, the VPU has transposed the thematic action planning by the relevant specialist departments into an integrated form. This action planning is underpinned in particular by a prioritisation of key projects and plans for the coming year, undertaken on the initiative of the VPU. The VPU is planning to report on the implementation of the overall concept in 2022, taking particularly these prioritised measures into account.

To update this overall concept, the VPU therefore conducted a survey among Berlin Senate departments immediately after taking up its work. A fresh round of specialist dialogues with practitioners and civil society was also organised. These dialogues addressed the following themes: (1) violence prevention and digitalisation, (2) violence prevention and urban development, and (3) violence prevention and the needs of people with disabilities. Documentation of these specialist dialogues forms part of the update.

In addition to the further surveys and questionnaires among Senate departments, and the specialist theme-based dialogues, evaluations of the measures implemented as well as expert opinions on current prevention issues will be included in the reporting on the overall concept. Monitoring the implementation will continue to be co-ordinated with the Berlin State Commission Against Violence and documented in a report on results.

Gesamtkonzept Skater