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Public Health Action for a Safer Europe
VIOLENCE cuts short the lives of millions of people across the world each year, and damages the lives of millions more. It knows no boundaries of geography, race, age or income. It strikes at children, young people, women and the elderly. It finds its way into homes, schools and the workplace. Interpersonal violence is considered less newsworthy than the violence associated with war, but its toll is just as destructive. Men and women everywhere have the right to live their lives and raise their children free from the fear of violence. We must help them enjoy that right by making it clearly understood that violence is preventable, and by working together to identify and address its underlying causes. The roots of violence are deep and complex, and no single segment of society can address them in isolation. It requires collaboration across all sectors, including health, education, labour, justice, and human rights, at the local, national and international levels.
Kofi A. Annan (2000, Message from the United Nations Secretary-General)
In 2002, Interpersonal violence killed about 73,000 people in the European Region*. In addition to the loss of human life, interpersonal Violence is expensive. Estimates of the cost of violence in the USA reach 3.3% of the gross domestic product**.
Violence often creates a burden larger than the initial act of violence itself in the form of a physical or psychological disability. For this reason, healthcare benefits most from the prevention of violence.
Public health can play a complementary role in violence prevention, in particular with regard to overcoming the deficiencies in information on the size and impact of the issue as well as in the identification and dissemination of good practices in prevention.
Azienda ULSS 20 Verona, in collaboration with the Italian National Observatory for Domestic Violence (ONVD), will lead PHASE Work Package 6 - denominated "Public Health Impact of InterPersonal Violence · A mapping exercise" - and will address the theme of InterPersonal Violence viewing the problem from the public health perspective.
* WHO "Injuries and Violence in Europe - Why they matter and what can be done"
Dinesh Sethi...[et al], 2006
** WHO "The economic dimensions of interpersonal violence"
Hugh Waters...[et al], 2004