violence is one of the contemporary phenomena which has provoked social restlessness and caused a substantial number of victims every year. international organizations, such as who and unesco, have proposed violence prevention measures and the promotion of a culture of peace. for some years now brazil has been making efforts in creating new legislation in the health sector which may contribute to violence prevention and health promotion, fulfilling international recommendations and advancing substantially if compared with previous initiatives. this paper presents these propositions and their recommendations and discusses the consequences in regard to demands for the humanization of health care provided by practitioners. it points out the challenges for human resources training and, according to hannah arendt's ideas, discusses concepts of violence, power, authority, force and strength.