Global Violence Prevention Project
Violence is a serious global public health problem that continues to devastate societies, especially in poor countries. It affects everyone: from individuals, families and communities to universities, hospitals and businesses.
A WHO study in 2000 provides the following grim global statistics:
•Violence is a leading cause of death for people aged 15-29
•On average, 1,424 people are murdered every day—almost one person every minute
•57,000 children were victims of homicide in 2002
•Some 199,000 youth were murdered in 2002
•One in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in her lifetime
•Between 10-50% of women experienced physical violence by an intimate partner
The time has come to do something about the 1.6 million violent deaths worldwide each year.
The good news: this deadly phenomenon is preventable, and there is an unprecedented project underway to usher in this needed transformation in poor countries with great need and great capacity for positive change.
"...safety and security don't just happen; they are the result of collective consensus and public investment."
Nelson Mandela, World report on violence and health
World Health Organization, 2002
The Global Violence Prevention Project is laying the foundation to provide financial and technical assistance to poor countries to reduce violence. The goal is to implement the ideas and methods in WHO's World report on violence and health , that declared violence a preventable public health issue and published materials showing how to conduct the science of violence prevention. The remarkable conclusion: people can use scientific principles to make the necessary changes to prevent violence.
This project aims to build a broad coalition of individual supporters from organizations who endorse and fund this work; to create advocacy materials; to research the successes and methods of comparable movements for other public health coalitions; and to work with political leaders and leaders in the media to highlight the issues.
This project represents the first phase of what is envisioned to be a sustained commitment to close the gap between today's reality and what poor countries urgently need.
The Harsh Reality
There are seven forms of violence this project will address: self-directed, youth, child maltreatment, sexual, intimate partner, elder and collective.
Ninety (90%) of violent deaths worldwide occur in poor countries. Violence inhibits the development in these countries, both socially and economically. Compounding the problem, these countries lack resources to design and implement the programs required to prevent it.
Country needs vary, some require planning assistance, others scientific expertise. But they all need funding from wealthier countries to make their prevention plans work.