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15 The case for a cross-cutting approach to violence prevention
  1. James A Mercy
  1. Director, Division of Violence Prevention, National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention


Violence prevention efforts have historically focused on specific forms of violence. Knowledge gained from several decades of research, prevention, and services, however, has revealed that different forms of violence – child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, elder abuse, and suicidal behaviour – are strongly connected to each other in many important ways. Previous research indicates, for example, that those who are victims of one form of violence are likely to experience other forms of violence and that those who have been violent in one context are likely to be violent in another context. Different forms of violence also share common consequences including physical injuries and deaths as well as a broad range of mental, emotional and physical health, and social problems that have effects across the lifespan. Moreover, the evidence clearly shows that the different forms of violence share common risk and protective factors. Given the urgency of addressing violence as well as the need to stretch limited resources, it seems wise to prioritise the implementation of policies and programs that impact multiple forms of violence simultaneously. A comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing violence will accelerate progress in making the world a better and safer place.

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