Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Violence as a Public Health Issue
In 1996, the 49th World Health Assembly declared violence to be a leading worldwide public health problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines violence as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. (WHO, 2002, p. 5) This entry describes the types of violence, its consequences, and its prevalence worldwide. It also examines characteristics of interpersonal violence as experienced by women, the elderly, and children and adolescents. Although violence as a criminal act remains primarily within the purview of judicial system, public health interventions can reduce the incidence of violence and its impact. A scientific approach to understanding the underlying causes of violence and risk factors is necessary to devise effective prevention programs and protecting health. Such an ...