Interpersonal Violence: Global Impact and Paths to Prevention

Authors: James Mercy, Susan Hillis, Alexander Butchart, Mark A. Bellis, Catherine Ward, Xiangming Fang, Mark Rosenberg


Interpersonal violence has expanded as a global issue and encompasses physical, sexual, or psychological violence used by an individual or small group of individuals. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) account for 91.4 percent of 2011 deaths from interpersonal violence. Household surveys provide the bulk of the data on violence against children and youth as well as against women and the elderly. Serious and enduring consequences from such violence include increased risks of injuries, infectious diseases, mental health problems, reproductive health problems, and noncommunicable diseases. Public health interventions aim to prevent violence from occurring, and specific prevention programs fall into seven categories: (1) developing safe, stable parent-child relationships; (2) developing life skills in children and adolescents; (3) reducing availability and harmful use of alcohol; (4) decreasing access to lethal means; (5) promoting gender equality; (6) changing cultural and societal norms; and (7) implementing victim identification, care, and support programs.


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