Preventing violence: an overview

Dr. Alexander Butchart
World Health Organization (WHO)

World Health Organization (WHO) violence prevention activities have been ongoing since the launch of the World report on violence and heath in 2002. The public-health approach adopted to prevent violence is multi-sectoral and science-based, and has four key steps: problem definition; risk factor identification; intervention evaluation, and scaling up. Universal and selected prevention strategies at the levels of the individual, family, community and society are prioritized. The approach is illustrated with reference to global findings on the magnitude of violence; underlying causes and risk factors; evidence-based prevention strategies, and trends in violence prevention policy. WHO efforts to promote the uptake of this approach by WHO Member States are surveyed, mechanisms to support country-level violence prevention policies and programmes are reviewed; and the WHO-led Violence Prevention Alliance is described.


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