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Violence in America: A Public Health Approach

NCJ Number
M L Rosenberg, M A Fenley
Date Published
211 pages
In examining child, spouse, and elder abuse, as well as assaultive violence and homicide, internationally known experts look at key epidemiological issues, causal and risk factors, outcomes, and interventions.
One-third of all fatal injuries in the United States result from intentional injuries or violence. Public health officials have compared violence to such previous epidemics as smallpox, tuberculosis, and syphilis. Redefining the unacceptability of interpersonal violence represents a major step in enlisting the public health structure to change social norms. In addition, surveillance is essential if there is to be a concerted effort to control violence, and violence needs to be understood in its broad context. Public health departments can put violence into the mainstream of public health, be involved in problem definition, educate politicians and others to change current practices and laws, educate children through the development of appropriate curricula, and develop intervention strategies and evaluate their impact. Public health status objectives related to violence are identified for the year 2000. An interdisciplinary approach to violence is suggested that involves professionals from the fields of sociology, criminology, economics, law, public policy, psychology, anthropology, and public health. Specific attention is paid to assault, child sexual abuse, rape and other forms of sexual assault, spouse abuse, violence against the elderly, and suicide. References and figures