South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
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Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit


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Director: Prof Mohamed Seedat
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Professor Mohamed Seedat The Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit (VIPRU) is a partnership between the South Africa Medical Research Council and University of South Africa (UNISA).

VIPRU undertakes trans-disciplinary, critically-oriented public health research and interventions. Our major focus is on data-driven prevention initiatives and transferable solutions for priority injury and violence issues, including peace and safety promotion.

Latest Addition

End Violence! Talk to Your Children About Gender Equality, March 2017

Enlarging the Scope of Peace Psychology: African and World-Regional Contributions, 2017

VIPRU objectives
The objectives of VIPRU are to:

  • Conduct trans-disciplinary research to champion peace and safety promotion, as well as violence and injury prevention;
  • Develop appropriate tools to assess the magnitude, trends and occurrence of crime, injuries and violence, and conditions promotive of safety and peace;
  • Study the risks, causes and determinants of crime, violence and injuries, and factors supportive of safety and peace;
  • Identify, support and develop primary prevention, injury control, and safety and peace promotion demonstration initiatives;
  • Encourage research translation to inform the prevention and promotive work of governments and social movements; and
  • Build primary prevention, and safety and peace promotion research and intervention expertise among researchers, policy-drivers, community-based workers and practitioners

VIPRU recently co-hosted the First South African National Conference on Violence. The Conference highlighted the need for a Strategic Framework for Violence Prevention which is urgently required for the coordination of civil society, the research community and government efforts around a consensually driven programme of priority safety actions. An Integrated Strategic Framework for the Prevention of Injury and Violence, focusing on the prevention of violence, alongside other key causes of injury, has already been developed with the NDOH and wide sectoral support, but requires urgent consideration as regards an expedited implementation.

VIPRU and Childsafe SA have recently collaborated on a Safe Travel to School Project with the overall objective of making a contribution to safer minibus school travel for children.  In their current issue (March 2017), the South African Medical Journal published the findings of this research and refer to initial improvements of schoolbus driver performance and safety.  The horrific crashes in this industry, including the one reported in Verena, Mpumalanga on Friday, 21 April 2017, has again raised concerns about driver attributes and abilities.  The SAMJ article identifies driver demographics and points to sub-optimal driving circumstances as significant contributors to unsafe driving behaviour. The use of driver safety interventions that include driver training, vehicle roadworthy modification, as well as long-term safety incentivisation are highlighted as promising interventions. 

If you have any queries please contact Prof. Ashley Van Niekerk at

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Last updated:
24 April, 2017
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