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Interpersonal Violence Prevention Programme

With the purpose of preventing the occurrence of aggression behaviours, this programme was developed in order to raise awareness and sensitise adolescents and adults towards violence in interpersonal relationships and their functioning dynamics.

The intervention is based on data from studies that reinforce the principle that by understanding how the processes of aggression work (initially psychological in scope, but which can move towards physical violence), we can increase individuals” capacity to anticipate and/or terminate these behaviors more quickly and effectively, thus avoiding their escalation.

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The aim is to promote the development of skills for detecting behaviour that is considered natural in everyday life and in society, but which in fact constitute personal aggressions with significant impact. These behaviours often give rise to a process of escalation onto more serious aggressions. At the same time, the intervention promotes the acquisition of knowledge about practical (adaptive) response solutions when such aggressions occur.

  • Differentiating Programme

    This programme differs from other intervention strategies in that it seeks to intervene in the structural basis of interpersonal aggression/violence behaviours.

  • Identification of different contexts

    Regardless of the context in which it occurs (i.e. school, family, marital or work), any behaviour of interpersonal aggression existing in human relationships tends to have the same functioning dynamics.

  • Increased sensitisation creates greater probability of reaction

    By clarifying this dynamic we will increase the probability of there being an anticipation of the problem and a faster reaction towards its end.

  • Ilustração Vaso Prevention of specific typologies

    After developing this basis, the intervention programme focuses on the prevention of specific types of violence (i.e. marital violence, dating violence, school violence, violence at work, etc.).

Visual mediator


In order to reinforce the intervention rationale, PREVINT™ uses a visual mediator (“Violentometer”). “Violentometer” is a graphic and educational material in the form of a ruler, in which implicit and explicit manifestations of violence are visualized. Some of them made natural in everyday life and in society.

This scale is an important element that promotes an effective cognitive insight into the rationale behind PREVINT™'s intervention. Thus, strongly increasing the likelihood that the contents of the intervention will remain present in the medium and long term.

However, it is important to note that research shows that the use of this device as a 'mere pamphlet' ( that is to say, without the proper follow-up of a structured and planned intervention effort) becomes ineffective to the process of behavioural change in regard to interpersonal violence.

PREVINT™ is an original psychological intervention programme (Barroso, Ramião & Figueiredo, 2018; 2019) whose structure, organisation and content are based on the results of national and international research.

The Violentometer device, which aids in the intervention process, stems from the work of Rosas and López (2012) of the “Unidad Politécnica de Gestión con Perspectiva de Género” of the “Instituto Politécnico Nacional” (Mexico), which authorised Aggression Lab of UTAD to use the device in Portugal.

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Aggression Lab

  • Coordinator Ricardo Barroso
  • RESEARCHER Patrícia Figueiredo
  • RESEARCHER Eduarda Ramião
  • RESEARCHER Ana Margarida Ribeiro
  • UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT Catarina Gonçalves

Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
Departamento de Educação e Psicologia
Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real (Portugal)
Tel: +351 259 350 543 — Email:

Notice: Undergraduate students (Masters or PhD) interested in conducting their studies in the context of aggression behaviors and interpersonal violence, may contact Prof. Dr. Ricardo Barroso by email at

Collaborate in our studies

Several studies are associated with the implementation of PREVINT™. With these analyses we seek to better understand the specificities of aggression behaviours, typologies of violence, characteristics of aggressors and victims, among other data.

We would like to invite you to collaborate in our investigations. Your participation is of the utmost importance to us. Your collaboration may be achieved by answering a brief set of questionnaires. If you are interested in collaborating, we ask that you please provide us with your answers and experiences through the following link:


  • How can my institution implement PREVINT?

    PREVINT™ — The Interpersonal Violence Prevention Programme is aimed at young people between 12 and 18 years of age. Allowing it to be implemented in contexts that involve young people of this age. Further clarification on the whole process can be obtained through the email

  • What is PREVINT about and what are its objectives?

    The aim of PREVINT™ is to raise the awareness and sensitise adolescents and adults regarding violence in interpersonal relationships and its functioning dynamics. Specifically, the aim is to: (1) promote the development of skills in detecting behaviours that are considered natural in everyday life and in society, but which are in fact personal aggressions with consequences and often the beginning of a process of escalation towards a more serious aggressions;
    (2) To obtain knowledge about practical (adaptive) response solutions when such aggressions occur.

  • PREVINT program and “Violentometer Project” are the same thing?

    PREVINT ™ is an original copyrighted intervention program (Barroso, Ramião & Figueiredo, 2018; 2019) that was specifically designed for the adolescent population. It has its own theoretical rationale and methodology, based on the results of various investigations. However, since it uses the Violentometer device (conceived by Rosas and López, 2012) in some sessions, the intervention program is sometimes called the “Violentometer Project”. Please note that the correct name should always be PREVINT ™ Program.

  • What differentiates PREVINT from other interventions?

    Surely there are several programmes with prevention potential. Intervention programmes usually focus on the prevention of typical aggressive behaviours (i.e. domestic violence, bullying, school violence, dating violence, among others) or on specific dimensions (i.e. empathy, interpersonal skills, socio-emotional development, or problem solving).

    The PREVINT™ programme differs from the others in that it seeks to intervene in the structural basis of interpersonal aggression/violence behaviour. After working on this basis, the intervention then focuses on certain types of violence (i.e. marital violence, dating violence, bullying, among others).

  • What is the “Violentometer”?

    In some of the modules, PREVINT™ uses a visual mediator (“Violentometer”, Rosas & López, 2012), which allows a more effective and cognitive insight regarding the understanding of the message to be conveyed. Thus, enabling a higher probability of it remaining present in the medium and long term (this tends to be the main complication in intervention processes associated with such matters).

    The “Violentometer” is in this way, a graphic and educational material in the form of a ruler, in which implicit and explicit manifestations of violence are visualized. Some of them made natural in everyday life and in society.

  • Is display of the graphic device 'Violentometer' enough for the intervention to take place?

    No. The studies we have been carrying out clearly show that exposure to the graphic device alone does not lead to behavioural changes. A specific intervention is needed for this to happen. In other words, by viewing the graphic device, participants easily understand the path of aggression behaviour, but this information is quickly lost if not discussed and cognitively integrated through the intervention programme developed for this purpose.

  • What is the intervention plan?

    The intervention consists of 4 modules (of 90 minutes each) where the dimensions of emergence of violence are worked out and (adaptive) reaction strategies to these same behaviours are taught. The intervention uses an Intervention Kit that contains all the resources (intervention manual and graphic materials).

  • Who can implement PREVINT?

    Given the specificity of the contents worked on in this programme, the intervention should be implemented by psychologists requiring prior specialised training. Other professionals (i.e. teachers) may be involved in the intervention but the management of the intervention should always be carried out by psychology professionals registered with the Portuguese Psychologists' Association.

  • What is the cost of implementing the intervention programme?

    REVINT™ is free to implement, but it is obligatory to formalise the involvement of the institution and to comply with all the phases that make up the programme.

  • When should the PREVINT™ intervention be performed?

    The results of the effectiveness studies that we have conducted have shown that the importance of PREVINT™ intervention is reinforced over time (it is therefore essential to be included in the annual plan of school activities). While always useful, interventions should be avoided at a single moment in time. As a practical example, we suggest that the best technical approach should be for the School to apply PREVINT™ to all its 7th grade, 9th grade and 11th grade pupils, so a student will be given the intervention (booster dose) at least 3 times. throughout their school career (keeping the same technical rationale, but making the appropriate developmental adjustments in the topics under analysis).

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Co-funded by:
Portugal 2020 Logo, PO ISE Logo, União Europeia Logo
Funder of the intervention process:
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Logo
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