Preventing Violence

Fight Club by Polina Sergeeva
Fight Club, a photo by Polina Sergeeva on Flickr.

The Department of Health have published a report looking at a public health approach to violence prevention for England.

In which it is reported that:

  • one in three (29%) 10-15 year olds had been bullied in the past year.
  • at least 7.6% of 10-15 year olds suffered a violent crime in the past year. That equates to over half a million young victims of violence.
  • there were 13,000 emergency hospital admissions for assault among 13-24
    year olds. One in seven involved a knife or sharp object.

The report says:

Many incidents of youth violence (and other types of violence) involve alcohol, which can increase risks of both perpetrating and being a victim of violence.

It also points out that early experiences of violence are associated with increased drug use and alcohol consumption, and the development of substance abuse problems.

It is estimated that 9.8% of drug dependence disorders and 7.0% of alcohol dependence disorders could be attributed to childhood sexual abuse.

Interventions that are discussed include programmes that address life skills, ones that engage communities (such as Communities that Care), and parenting programmes.

The report has this to say about life skills approaches:

Programmes that develop life and social skills in young people can help protect them from violence by building their social and emotional competencies, teaching conflict avoidance skills and providing broader skills to help them find employment and avoid poverty and crime. They can prevent violence and other health risk behaviours among young people, particularly when targeted towards at-risk children early in life.

Download the full document here.

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