"AVP began in 1975 in a New York prison at the request of long-term prisoners. A workshop was held for youth coming into conflict with the law. The success of this workshop quickly generated requests for more, and the programme quickly spread to many other prisons.
"It soon became obvious that violence and the need for this training exists as much outside prison as within, and that everyone in all walks of life and circumstances is exposed to and participates, in some way, in violence, whether it be physical or psychological.
"This programme has now spread to over 50 countries around the world, including New Zealand, Costa Rica, Israel, Russia and South Africa.
"AVP began with support from the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) but the programme is non-denominational, and works in many social and religious contexts."