- LAST REVIEWED: 15 June 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 23 May 2012
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0026
- LAST REVIEWED: 15 June 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 23 May 2012
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0026
Violence as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation. Violence prevention or the prevention of intentional injuries is part of the subtopic of injury prevention, as it is understood from a public health perspective. Violence prevention addresses all forms of violence, including violence perpetrated between individuals (interpersonal violence) or between groups, or collective violence (i.e., war), and self-inflicted violence (i.e., self-abuse and suicide). This classification is known as the typology of violence according to the WHO and can be manifested in different forms such as physical, psychological, or sexual violence, or as neglect. It can also be explained by the type of violence inflicted on individuals throughout their lifespan, by the use of violence against persons of different sex, or by the types of weapons or factors involved in the perpetration of violence (such as firearms or alcohol). Violent behaviors have multiple manifestations, including child abuse and neglect, violence against women or intimate partners and within families, youth violence, abuse against older persons, suicide, and collective violence. Other forms of violence include hate crimes, such as those directed towards minority races, immigrants, persons with different sexual orientations, or some religious groups. The prevention of violence follows strategies that involve multiple disciplines and includes actions aimed at modifying human behaviors, establishing legal conditions or frameworks to promote safety, or using physical or engineering modifications to reduce risks or improve safety. Public health interventions to prevent or control violence include primary prevention activities (preventing violence before it happens), secondary prevention activities (mitigating the effects of violence), and tertiary prevention activities (treating the consequences of violence and providing rehabilitation).
World Health Organization 1996 provides a framework for addressing violence from a public health perspective. The most comprehensive resources for understanding violence prevention from this perspective can be found through resources available from the WHO’s Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability and through several WHO publications (Violence Publications and Resources) and capacity-building tools such as TEACH-VIP. Additionally, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provides useful information with a greater focus on the United States. These resources provide the conceptual framework and factual information that enables readers to understand the public health perspective of violence prevention and define violence in all its forms. These resources additionally provide clear information on what risk factors are involved in the perpetration of violence and how the control of these risk factors can contribute to the prevention or reduction of violence in diverse populations. In addition, publications such as National Committee for Injury Prevention and Control 1989 and World Health Organization 1996 provide justification for the need to study and use more resources to prevent violence in populations. Other resources such as the SafetyLit meta-site provide useful resources on a variety of injury topics.
This comprehensive website provides evidence of research on violence prevention, with eight subsections. It provides free materials for communities, aimed at improving the understanding of violence and violence prevention. Also contains the WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) database, which has statistical information on violence-related events in the United States.
National Committee for Injury Prevention and Control. 1989. Injury prevention: Meeting the challenge. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
This is an essential read that discusses the basic scientific approach to injuries and violence prevention and puts it in the context of the US health situation. It addresses the United States’ Healthy People goals for improving the health of Americans and focuses on the techniques used to identify injury problems, to develop prevention activities, and to evaluate interventions.
This meta-site provides links to multiple injury-related web resources, including organizations, journals, and scientific and policy-relevant literature. It contains a searchable, archived database organized by themes related to violence and injuries. It is supported by San Diego State University and is published in collaboration with the WHO.
World Health Organization. 1996. Prevention of violence: A public health priority. WHA 49.25. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
This 49th World Health Assembly Resolution was instrumental in giving a mandate to the WHO for studying the problem of violence globally.
World Health Organization. TEACH-VIP.
Comprehensive training tool for public health practitioners addressing the public health approach to violence prevention and injuries. It contains a basic module of twenty-one lessons and thirty-nine sessions in the advanced modules on multiple injury topics. Modules 1–6 focus on overall injury concepts. Modules 16–30 focus on violence prevention. Modules 31–33 focus on care of victims; modules 34–39, on ethical and policy issues.
World Health Organization. Capacity-Building Resources.
This web page section contains information and resources useful for training individuals on how to prevent and control violence and injuries. It includes access to publications focusing on injuries in general (TEACH-VIP), how to document interpersonal violence programs, and how to care for victims of sexual violence.
World Health Organization. Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability (VIP).
This web page provides access to a variety of reference publications with a global focus on a wide variety of areas related to injuries and violence prevention. It provides free access to multiple review and reference publications related to violence prevention and facts about violence in a global setting.
World Health Organization. Violence Publications and Resources.
This web page contains essential readings addressing violence prevention strategies, providing facts about the problem and evidence of programs that work. It also includes policy-related publications and a synthesis of economic evaluations of the consequences of violence on health.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
- Access to Health Care
- Action Research
- Active Aging
- Active Living
- Adolescent Risk-Taking Behavior in the United States
- Advocacy, Public Health
- Agricultural Safety and Public Health
- Air Quality: Health Effects
- Air Quality: Indoor Health Effects
- Alcohol Availability and Violence
- Alternative Research Designs
- Ambient Air Quality Standards and Guidelines
- American Perspectives on Chronic Disease and Control
- Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
- Asthma in Children
- Attachment as a Health Determinant
- Behavior Change Theory in Health Education and Promotion
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
- Bicycling and Cycling Safety
- Birth and Death Registration
- Birth Cohort Studies
- Board of Health
- Built Environment and Health, The
- Business and Corporate Practices
- Cancer Communication Strategies in North America
- Cancer Prevention
- Cancer Screening
- Capacity Building
- Capacity Building for NCDs in LMICs
- Capacity-Building for Applied Public Health in LMIC: A US ...
- Cardiovascular Health and Disease
- Child Maltreatment
- Children, Air Pollution and
- Children, Injury Risk-Taking Behaviors in
- Children, Obesity in
- Citizen Advisory Boards
- Climate Change and Human Health
- Climate Change: Institutional Response
- Clinical Preventive Medicine
- Community Air Pollution
- Community Development
- Community Gardens
- Community Health Assessment
- Community Partnerships and Coalitions
- Community-Based Participatory Research
- Complexity and Systems Theory
- Definition of Health
- Dental Public Health
- Design and Health
- Dietary Guidelines
- Ecological Approaches
- Enabling Factors
- Environmental Laws
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Ethics of Public Health
- Evidence-Based Public Health Practice
- Family Planning Services and Birth Control
- Food Safety
- Food Security and Food Banks
- Food Systems
- Frail Elderly
- Functional Literacy
- Genomics, Public Health
- Geographic Information Systems
- Geography and Health
- Global Health
- Global Health Diplomacy
- Global Health Promotion
- Guide to Community Preventive Services, The
- Health Administration
- Health Communication
- Health Disparities
- Health Education
- Health Impact Assessment
- Health in All Policies
- Health in All Policies in European Countries
- Health Literacy
- Health Literacy and Non-Communicable Diseases
- Health Measurement Scales
- Health Planning
- Health Promoting Hospitals
- Health Promotion
- Health Promotion Workforce Capacity
- Healthy People Initiative
- Hepatitis C
- High Risk Prevention Strategies
- Human Rights, Health and
- Immigrant Populations
- Immunization and Pneumococcal Infection
- Indigenous Peoples, Public Health and
- Indigenous Populations of North America, Australasia, and ...
- Indoor Air Quality Guidelines
- Internet Applications in Promoting Health Behavior
- Intersectoral Strategies in Low - Middle Income Countries ...
- Justice, Social
- Knowledge Translation and Exchange
- Knowledge Utilization and Exchange
- Law of Public Health in the United States
- Media Advocacy
- Mental Health
- Mental Health Promotion
- Migrant Health
- Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention
- Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
- National Association of Local Boards of Health
- National Public Health Institutions
- Needs Assessment
- Obesity Prevention
- Occupational Cancers
- Occupational Safety and Health
- Oral Health Equity for Minority Populations in the United ...
- Ottawa Charter
- Parenting and Work
- Parenting Skills and Capacity
- Participatory Action Research
- Patient Decision Making
- Pesticide Exposure and Pesticide Health Effects
- Physical Activity and Exercise
- Physical Activity Promotion
- Polio Eradication in Pakistan
- Population Aging
- Population Determinants of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages
- Population Health Objectives and Targets
- Precautionary Principle
- Prenatal Health
- Program Evaluation in American Health Education
- Program Planning and Evaluation
- Public Health, History of
- Public Health Surveillance
- Public-Private Partnerships in Public Health Research and ...
- Public-Private Partnerships to Prevent and Manage Obesity ...
- Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment
- Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies
- Randomized Controlled Trials
- Real World Evaluation Strategies
- Reducing Obesity-Related Health Disparities in Hispanic an...
- Rural Health in the United States
- Safety, Patient
- Sex Education in HIV/AIDS Prevention
- Skin Cancer Prevention
- Smoking Cessation
- Social Determinants of Health
- Social Epidemiology
- Social Marketing
- Statistics in Public Health
- Systems in the United States, Public Health
- Systems Theory in Public Health
- Traditional, Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative M...
- Translation of Science to Practice and Policy
- Traumatic Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Tuberculosis among Adults and the Determinants of Health
- Unintentional Injury Prevention
- Urban Health
- Vaccine Hesitancy
- Violence Prevention
- Water Quality
- Water Quality and Water-Related Disease
- Weight Management in US Occupational Settings
- Worksite Health Promotion