Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Alliance Against Childhood Violence—an update
  1. Arthur F Kohrman,
  2. Katherine Kaufer Christoffel
  1. Children's Memorial Hospital, 2300 Children's Plaza #16, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    The challenge


    The facts about violence to Chicago's children are sobering: in 1996, 258 children and adolescents were the victims of homicide. Gunshots are the leading cause of death in adolescents.1,2 Forty five per cent of the children in one of Chicago's public high schools had seen someone killed, and 66% had seen a shooting.2 For each child who dies of violence there are perhaps dozens who survive, often with permanent physical and psychological disability, and with families and friends whose lives have been disrupted.


    Despite its prevalence, we know and teach less about violence and its prevention and management than we do about the many less common (and even uncommon) diseases of infancy and childhood. Consequently, the chairs of the six pediatric departments in Chicago—who often find themselves in competition—undertook an unprecedented collaborative initiative. Based on their shared recognition that the academic pediatric community has both an obligation and the opportunity to work to prevent childhood violence, they formed the Alliance Against Childhood Violence with the goal of combining their efforts and resources to protect Chicago's children from violence and its consequences. They pledged to work to mobilize their departments, medical schools, and universities to begin to learn how best to reduce the toll of violence on children and families, to educate the next generation of physicians and medical personnel (many of whom are trained in the six institutions) about violence and its causes, and to pursue collaborative research, with each other and with others.

    The process

    A planning committee of the Chairs and alternates produced a mission statement acceptable to all that focuses on the things academic departments of pediatrics do best: clinical care, education, and research and evaluation. It was also agreed that one of the responsibilities of the Alliance is …

    View Full Text

    Linked Articles

    • Editorial
      I B Pless