When it comes to effective violence prevention education there are several essential elements about both trainers and trainings that are important to keep in mind.
The trainer and training need to be able to meet the participants of the training where they are at; this means that the trainer needs to know their audience and the specific needs and challenges those in their community are facing.
Additionally, it is important to be able to provide training that reaches far and wide in terms of the “general public,” but just as crucial, the training needs to target and include the lived experiences of marginalized populations in one’s community (people of color, queer and trans populations, people with disabilities), those at an increased risk of victimization (people facing homelessness, people living in poverty, people engaging in survival sex or sex work), and those who have or are experiencing violence (meaning training needs to be trauma informed and survivor centered).
The trainer and the training also need to have and express knowledge in theory and research, promising and best practices, and on the ground action oriented knowledge. It is essential to utilize existing research filtered through community specific movements. Every community is different, and just because one training program works well in one community doesn’t mean it will work well in all communities. This is why the trainer also needs to have in-depth knowledge that they are able adapt and apply to a diverse range of experiences and scenarios.
Both the trainer and the training need to be motivating, empowering, and be able to identify and build off the participants existing skills. Increasing knowledge is a great start, but exceptional training and trainers work to help build communities that are confident and able to effect change through their actions. Training and trainers need to bridge knowledge and action through engaging their audience, connecting their audience to the topic and those who are affected by it (if the audience does not see the connection yet), motivating their audience to get involved and act, and empowering the audience through interactive skills training that identifies strengths and builds off of them to increase confidence and ability to act (also refered to as efficacy).