Preventing violence: a role for public health for local to global



Violence is a major public health problem. Globally it is estimated that 1.3 million deaths occur annually due to violence in different forms. In England and Wales there are 2.5 million violent incidents a year. The UK Faculty of Public Health statement on violence prevention, launched last year, describes 10 main roles for public health in relation to violence prevention, control and mitigation. It seeks to address violence in all its forms from local to global- from child abuse and domestic abuse, through hate crime, inter-community violence, to international conflict. The statement describes public health tools for addressing violence: measuring needs, advocating evidence-based interventions and monitoring outcomes. It describes important modes of analysis and approaches to addressing violence: the life course approach, addressing inequalities, the new public mental health approach, adverse childhood experiences, addictions, asset-based community health. It describes the public health concepts of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in relation to violence- prevention, control and mitigation. It suggests our unique selling point and key focus must be primary prevention. It calls for a wider involvement of the public health community in conflict resolution and wider alliances with international lawyers, conflict resolution agencies & political scientists. As an educational body, we should accredit relevant educational materials and courses. We should use our special interest groups and our global health committee to develop our violence prevention roles, and extend our partnerships. Public health leadership in violence prevention needs to be developed at all levels, from local partnerships, to international collaboration. 249 words Key words: violence prevention; conflict resolution; local safeguarding partnerships; international collaboration Key words: (conference) Communities and environments; Influence in health Key messages: Are the outcomes of violence more wide-ranging than death and injury? Should Public health practitioners be more concerned about violence as a public health problem? What strategic alliances do public health services need to be effective in tackling violence?


John Middleton