Globally, some 470 000 homicides occur each year and millions of people suffer violence-related injuries. Beyond death and injury, exposure to violence can increase the risk of smoking, alcohol and drug abuse; mental illness and suicidality; chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer; infectious diseases such as HIV, and social problems such as crime and further violence. Yet, violence can be prevented. Interventions to address violence are delivered as part of a four-step public health approach that includes (1) defining the problem; (2) identifying causes and risk factors; (3) designing and testing interventions, and (4) increasing the scale of effective interventions.
WHO Violence Prevention Unit - What do we do?
With a focus on interpersonal violence - child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and elder abuse - our objectives are to:
- Raise awareness of the prevalence, causes and consequences of the different types of violence
- Identify, synthesize and disseminate evidence on what works to reduce violence
- Expand the global evidence base to cover more low- and middle-income countries
- Advocate for increased political support for and financial investment in violence prevention
- Provide guidance and technical support to countries to develop evidence-based prevention and response capacity
- Develop tools and training packages to strengthen prevention and response efforts
- Support measurement of indicators for the violence-related targets in the Sustainable Development Goals