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A Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention
Focuses on decision-making with a wide range of individuals from different backgrounds, perspectives & disciplines based on data and best practices:
- Primary Prevention Orientation efforts designed to prevent violence before it occurs
- Community Emphasis including the community as a resource for identifying and understanding the problem, and for helping find solutions and implementing prevention programs;
- Focus on Root Causes the VPN has identified three root causes and six risk factors upon which it is basing its work:
- Root Causes: oppression, poverty, mental health/family dynamics
- Risk Factors: alcohol, firearms, witnessing acts of violence, media, community deterioration, and incarceration
- Data-Driven approaches based on data that describe the nature of the problem, as well as contributing risk and resiliency factors;
- Collaborative stressing importance of multiple perspectives and partners from many different disciplines in order to effectively utilize expertise and resources and to coordinate responses and approaches; and
- Integrated Approach stressing community-wide, holistic and systemic solutions to prevent violence that are based on the continuum of prevention strategies and interventions.
Public Health Definitions of Prevention
Multiple levels of prevention and intervention require a comprehensive continuum of effort among an array of health, education, welfare and human service providers in partnership with law and justice systems.
- Primary Prevention prevents violence so that it does not occur; taking proactive steps to keep people safe and healthy and to address attitudes, behavior, conditions and environment.
- Secondary Prevention focuses on early identification or intervention and addresses attitudes, behaviors, conditions and environment.
- Tertiary Prevention relates to reactive efforts and intervention where there are recognized problems.
*Based on Larry Cohen & Susan Swift, A Public Health Approach to
the Violence Epidemic in the United States," Environment and Urbanization,
Vol. 5, No. 2, October, 1993