Recommendation 4

Support the development of family commitments in VE prevention programming.

Family commitments can play an important role in prevention, in part by “raising the costs” of participation in VE. According to some research, breadwinners are less likely to radicalize to violence. Obligations to a spouse, children, or elderly parents/other family members can “anchor” individuals to peace. This should not be overstated: family commitments are, in many cases, not in themselves sufficient to prevent violent radicalization. Nevertheless, research has found that even where individuals subscribe to VE beliefs, and have an opportunity to act on those beliefs, their family obligations may outweigh their emerging ideological commitment. As such, deconstruction of VE narratives is not enough to decrease susceptibility to radicalization to violence and recruitment; social construction of positive, alternative narratives is necessary to empower families.