Is violence a public health issue? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) violence is indeed a public health issue. Truly a complex interaction to interpret, violence can occur in a broad range of human relations.
Readers should be aware "violence as a public health issue" is not limited to substance abuse, interpersonal violence, weapons availability, and social media influence, but there is so much more.
Supporting the Public
Not all violence is due to the actions of another. In 1979 violence was reported as one of the top 15 priorities for the nation. And since then, not much has changed. Ten years later, a task force was created to work specifically on youth suicide.
In 2000 the World Health Organization (WHO) created the Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention. Over the years, several organizations have been created to help protect public health from violence.
Twenty years later, in 2020, when many people faced tragedy, the CDC received its first congressional appropriation in nearly 23 years. This allowed them to conduct research on firearm injuries.
The agency funded 18 research studies to help each other better understand the underlying causes of firearm violence.
Violence as a Public Health Crisis
Bringing all forms of intentional violence together in one volume is important. It's essential to clarify how much the different forms of violence affect other violent acts and the people around us. People subjected to violence or child abuse from a partner are more likely to harm themselves.
When power is not distributed equally across divisions of socioeconomics, sex, and race, violence will flourish, and the distribution of violence will become greater. Violence is not separated into one class or the other. But unfortunately, the people with the lowest socioeconomic status seem to be at a greater risk.
Calling attention to the problem and allowing for a label such as "public health crisis" will hopefully speed the decline of violence and foster more help for those who need it most.
CITED: aafp.org, www.cdc.gov, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov