Suicide, child abuse, playground fights, gang violence, sexual assault, and domestic violence are just a few examples of violence that touch people in all walks of life and communities everywhere. Homicide and suicide remain in the top ten leading causes of death for people from birth to age 64. How do you combat an issue that takes so many forms and has so many causes? The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (published by SAGE) have developed a special issue to take a closer look at violence prevention. The special issue is entitled "Lifestyle Medicine, Public Health and Violence."
Because of the complexities surrounding violence, its impact on society is deep and multifaceted. Aside from the physical effects, which have prompted the American Medical Association to recognize violence as a health issue, there are also very real monetary effects. According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the estimated annual cost of medical care and productivity lost because of violence each year is estimated at more than $70 billion.
"Violence is an unfortunate reality of the world we live in with direct implications for health" state Dr. James Rippe, Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. "We are delighted to join with the CDC to bring this important issue to the forefront of medical discussion."
To help explore these issues and begin working on some solutions, guest co-editors Dr. Tamara Haegerich and Dr. Linda Dahlberg from CDC's Division of Violence Prevention sought articles that provide information about the prevalence of violence, circumstances surrounding violence, and even effective or promising approaches for violence prevention. Additionally, the foreword, written by Dr. Linda Degutis, Director of CDC's Injury Center, and Dr. Robin Ikeda, Director of CDC's Office of Noncommunicable Diseases, Injury, and Environmental Health focuses particularly on efforts most relevant for health care providers.
"Clinicians play an integral role in preventing violence on both individual and community levels. By understanding and recognizing risks for violence in their patients, they can identify warning signs and make referrals to effective preventive services. They can add to the voice of the community in raising awareness of violence, and in implementing evidence-based strategies to prevent it," said Dr. Degutis. "Working together, we can weave the fabric of a non-violent community, where people can live safe, healthy and productive lives."