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Service for International Social and Health Relations

ULSS 20 Verona (Veneto region, Italy)

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Public Health Action for a Safer Europe

InterPersonal Violence

Work Package 6

Public Health Impact of InterPersonal Violence - A mapping exercise

Violence - WHO definition

Violence is a complex issue. There is a lack of a clear definition of the problem. The topic of violence is one of the most challenging and sensitive to address. As far as Public Health is concerned, the challenge is to define violence in a way that it is globally comprehensive however not so broad that it can lose its meaning.

WHO defines violence as: "The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group of community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation".

Typology of Violence

An analytical framework of typology is necessary in order to try to clearly describe the complexity of the violence problem. The typology used by WHO in the "World Report on violence and health" divides violence in three main broad categories:

  1. self-directed violence;
  2. interpersonal violence;
  3. collective violence.

Typology of violence
WHO, World Report on violence and health (Geneva, 2002)

Interpersonal Violence

WHO divides Interpersonal violence in two main sub-categories:

  1. Family and intimate partner violence:
    violence between family members and intimate partners, usually though not exclusively, taking place in the home;
  2. Community violence:
    violence between individuals who are unrelated, and who may or may not know each other, generally taking place outside the home.
Focus Areas

PHASE Work Package 6 will focus its activities in particular in the following areas of InterPersonal Violence:

  1. Child
  2. Intimate Partner
  3. Elder
  4. Youth