EUGLOREH project
THE STATUS OF HEALTH IN THE EUROPEAN UNION:
TOWARDS A HEALTHIER EUROPE

FULL REPORT

PART II - HEALTH CONDITIONS

7. ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES AND RELATED TIME TRENDS: PREVALENCE, INCIDENCE AND MORTALITY

7.4. Data discussion

7.4.7. Prevention of interpersonal violence

Links:  Standard Highlighted

Link to concordances are always highlighted on mouse hover

7.4.7. Prevention of interpersonal violence

 

Interpersonal violence is an issue of growing public concern and includes domestic violence, child abuse, abuse of the elderly and youth violence. Interpersonal violence takes many forms (physical, mental and sexual) and occurs in different environments (in the family, between intimate partners, in the community, in institutions and at work). It undermines the social and economic conditions in society (European Commission, 2006).

 

No single factor explains why some individuals behave violently towards others or why violence is more prevalent in some communities than in others. Violence is the result of the complex interplay of individual, relationship, social, cultural and environmental factors. Understanding how these factors are related to violence is one of the important steps in the public health approach to preventing violence.

 

Because violence is a multifaceted problem with biological, psychological, social and environmental roots, it needs to be confronted on several different levels at once (WHO, 2002).

 

The recording of violence by the police is neither sufficiently accurate nor detailed. In addition, the issue is heavily under-reported due to the reluctance of victims to report these events. In the framework of the Public Health Programme of the DG Sanco, improved reporting techniques will be developed in order to get better estimates of the size of the problem. To supplement the limited data available from police records efforts will be made to integrate information on ‘hiddenforms of violence available from crime victimisation surveys. This might involve the development of a harmonised survey or module by the European Statistical System.

 

There is a need for more systematic documentation and dissemination of violence prevention practices, in particular involving the health sector in collaboration with the police, justice and welfare system. Stakeholders need to be empowered by the provision of tools for planning, implementing and evaluating violence prevention projects.

 

Dealing with violence on a range of levels involves addressing all of the following issues:

 

·          Addressing individual risk factors and taking steps to modify individual risk behaviours;

·          Influencing close personal relationships and working to create healthy family environments, as well as providing professional help and support for dysfunctional families;

·          Monitoring public places such as schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods and taking steps to address problems that might lead to violence;

·          Addressing gender inequality, and adverse cultural attitudes and practices; and

·          Addressing the larger cultural, social and economic factors that contribute to violence and taking steps to change them, including measures to close the gap between the rich and poor and to ensure equitable access to goods, services and opportunities. (WHO, 2002)

 

Actions in this domain will be initiated in close collaboration with other Community programmes such as the DAPHNE Programme. Recommended entry points for searching policy guidance on suicide prevention and the prevention of interpersonal violence are the homepages of the World Health Organization www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention and www.euro.who.int/violenceinjury.