Violence against children (VAC) is a major global issue with long-lasting negative consequences on individuals and societies. The present study presents a review of the literature on drivers of VAC and the core components of evidence-based violence prevention programs. Moreover, it analyzes the existing services and social infrastructure in Colombia to rigorously inform the design of the Apapacho violence prevention parenting program for families with children younger than five targeted toward Colombia. Findings indicate that (1) VAC in Colombia is a multidimensional issue with roots at the individual, family, community, and society levels, (2) evidence-based violence prevention programs share a common set of content and delivery strategies that could inform the components of the Apapacho program, and (3) there is an urgent need for scalable and flexible violence prevention programs for families with young children in Colombia. Considering existing evidence, the Apapacho violence prevention parenting program will be designed using ecological, developmental, and neuroscience-informed perspectives. This article concludes by presenting the initial components of the theory of change and discussing future directions for the design of the Apapacho program and other violence prevention interventions in LMICs.
Keywords: Colombia; complex interventions; early childhood; parenting programs; violence against children; violence prevention.