Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Violence Prevention is a Public Health Issue

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has addressed violence as a public health issue since at least 1979 (CDC Timeline of Violence as a Public Health Issue).


New Data: Cost of Violent Deaths

Cost of Violent Deaths chart

In the United States, violence accounts for approximately 51,000 deaths annually. Estimating the size of this economic burden is helpful in understanding the resources that could be saved if cost-effective violence prevention efforts were applied.

From the CDC Web site

Violence is a significant problem in the United States (U.S.). From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life. In 2006, 18,573 people died as a result of homicide and 33,300 took their own life. The number of violent deaths tells only part of the story. Many more survive violence and are left with permanent physical and emotional scars. Violence also erodes communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.

While the CDC does have violence prevention resources for public health professionals, it also has resources for the rest of us.

Help prevent violence

The Violence Prevention page includes resources on these topics. Many have hotline phone numbers.

VetoViolence Facebook page
Visit the Violence Prevention Web page for other resources, including social media options (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc)

  • Mental and Psychological Effects of Children’s Cartoons (vatopaidi.wordpress.com)
  • Build Healthy Teen Relationships To Prevent Teen Dating Violence (connectwithyourteens.net)
  • LGBT Domestic Violence Assistance Programs React To Murder Of Gay Man By Husband (pinkbananaworld.com)
  • Leading Workplace Violence Prevention Consulting Firm Acquires The Leading Workplace Violence Prevention Magazine (prweb.com)
  • Toronto police, social group team up for conference on South Asian family violence (theglobeandmail.com)
  • The intersection of psychology and public health (Monitor on Psychology, April 2011)
    ” At the CDC, Rodney Hammond worked to improve health for entire populations. As he retires, he predicts that the United States will need even more behavioral expertise to address burgeoning public health problems.””

    Looking back on your career, what accomplishment are you most proud of?

    I am really pleased that the CDC has taken a lead role in promoting the notion that violence is preventable. When CDC started working on violence prevention, the work was primarily focused on collecting and reporting data on violence. Then we moved toward developing evidence-based prevention strategies. Now we are working on community capacity building. We are poised now to help communities implement evidence-based prevention programs to reduce violence.

    One violence-prevention program I’d like to highlight is called STRYVE, (www.safeyouth.gov), which stands for Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere. It includes an online tool that is allowing local groups to network, assess conditions and share information about gaps in their communities that need to be filled by strong violence-prevention strategies. ”

    Going forward, what do you think are the greatest opportunities for violence prevention?

    You’re going to see more collaboration among government agencies, community groups and law enforcement. There’s no one model yet, but these collaborations might involve police referring people to programs in the community. Or it might involve using violence data — for instance, information about who is coming into hospitals for treatment after an assault — and determining which parts of a community are most at risk and what circumstances surround these injures, and targeting community resources accordingly.”

    What role do you think psychology has to play in the future of public health?

    I’ve noticed that many psychologists are getting master’s degrees in public health or just taking courses in public health during their doctoral training. Their involvement in the public health system will be very beneficial because some of the top public health problems — obesity, violence and smoking — have a lot to do with behavior. Psychologists bring unique expertise in how behavior can be influenced and how healthy behavior can be encouraged.”

May 6, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Finding Aids/Directories, Public Health | ,

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