Protection Approaches

Identity-based violence

We define identity-based violence as any act of violence motivated by the perpetrator's conceptualisation of their victim's identity, for example their race, gender, sexuality, religion or political affiliation. It encompasses hate crime, violent extremism, and genocide and affects individuals as well as entire groups or communities all around the world. While its victims and the ways in which it manifests often look different the causes of identity-based violence are usually the same. By understanding the common causes of these seemingly disconnected forms of violence, we can develop and promote effective, evidenced strategies  of prediction, prevention, and protection.

Why we use 'identity-based violence'

We believe that what are too often seen as unrelated problems are in fact part of the same shared global challenge. This is why we developed the term identity-based violence. Our definition of identity-based violence is intended as a self-explanatory  non-legal, politically neutral term encompassing hate crime, violent extremism, and identity-based atrocities; it highlights the commonality that exists between attacks against individuals and communities, whether by States, militia groups, terrorist organisations, or prejudiced thugs. 


Our goal will always  be strong, resilient, inclusive, caring, and questioning societies but how different communities and state get there will likely differ considerably. Our work is not about changing language but advocating our collective responsibility to protect those at risk of violence because of who they are and  providing an evidence base for what works. We work in and with local  communities, civil society, academics, and policy makers to enhance their own contributions to prevention and to gather examples of best  practice that can be replicated or scaled.