Community asset mapping for violence prevention: A comparison of views in Erijaville, South Africa and Memphis, USA
In the context of addressing challenges relating to ongoing interpersonal violence, this article conducts a comparative analysis of findings from a community asset mapping process drawing responses from 100 community participants across the two sites of Erijaville, South Africa and Memphis, Tennessee in the USA. Specifically, we describe the similarities and differences across sites regarding community assets linked to safety and peace promotion, with a particular emphasis on tangible and intangible factors relevant to the promotion of safety and peace. The findings reveal a major emphasis on ‘intangible’ factors that relate to the promotion of safety and peace, including personal values and behaviour (such as love, compassion and prayer), family relationships (such as family socialisation, care and supervision, role modelling, and peer guidance), and community connectedness (including community hope and trust, and the development of ethical leadership). The findings suggest that religious assets and spiritual capacity constitute important resources, which should be more intentionally mobilised and enhanced to promote safety and peace. This constitutes an important challenge in relation to violence prevention in both South Africa and the USA.
Keywords: community-based participatory research, community asset mapping, interpersonal violence, violence prevention, positive forms of masculinity, peace and safety, religious assets, spiritual capacity