violence


Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation”, but acknowledges that the inclusion of “the use of power” in its definition expands on the conventional meaning of the word. This definition involves intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces. However, generally, anything that is excited in an injurious or damaging way may be described as violent even if not meant to be violence (by a person and against a person). Violence in many forms is preventable. There is a strong relationship between levels of violence and modifiable factors such as concentrated poverty, income and gender inequality, the harmful use of alcohol, and the absence of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and parents. Strategies addressing the underlying causes of violence can be effective in preventing violence. Globally, violence resulted in the death of 1.28 million people in 2013 up from 1.13 million in 1990. 842,000 were due to suicide, 405,000 were due to homicide, and 31,000 were due to war. In Africa, out of every 100,000 people, each year an estimated 60.9 die a violent death. Gunfire kills ten children a day in the United States. Corlin, past president of the American Medical Association said: “The United States leads the world—in the rate at which its children die from firearms.” He concluded: “Gun violence is a threat to the public health of our country.” For each single death due to violence, there are dozens of hospitalizations, hundreds of emergency department visits, and thousands of doctors’ appointments. Furthermore, violence often has lifelong consequences for physical and mental health and social functioning and can slow economic and social development.