How do local women, men and children, living in the slums of Latin American cities, cope with the daily violence that pervades their lives? What do they think about it? Does their attitude vary in terms of their age, gender or ethnic group? What is their response? Are the causes of violence grounded in the local reality or is it the wider structural context – be it at country or city level – that is the critical determinant? Above all, why are such questions of current significance?