WAVE was founded to support people bereaved of a spouse as a result of the violence in Northern Ireland. It was later expanded to incorporate the needs of young people and children, and those traumatised through the violence of the 'Troubles'. WAVE advocates ways of resolving difference other than through the use of physical force, and promotes creative ways of working through issues that have the potential to divide.
WAVE encourages members to take an active role in the organisation, empowering them through support and training. Members are represented on the management committee, facilitate group support activities and befriend and visit others who have suffered from violence during the Troubles. The aim is to work through a process of healing, with a longer-term goal of reconciliation.