A public health approach to reducing violence

A public health approach to tackling violence means looking at violence not as isolated incidents or solely a police enforcement problem. Instead, this approach looks at violence as a preventable consequence of a range of factors, such as adverse early-life experiences, or harmful social or community experiences and influences.

What factors are considered with a public health approach?

Focus on a defined population, often with a health risk in common - Connectors could be where they live, common experiences, a health condition, or demographic characteristics, like age.

With and for communities - Focus on improving outcomes for communities by listening to them and jointly designing interventions with them.

Not constrained by organisational or professional boundaries - People often do not neatly sit within a service user grouping.  Developing partnerships with and between organisations means that we can look across the system for solutions and not be too narrow in our approach.

Focus on generating long-term as well as short-term solutions - Acting on the root causes and determinants as well as controlling the immediate impact of the problem. Identifying actions to be taken now and putting solutions in place for the future.

Use data and intelligence to identify the burden on the population including any inequalities in levels of risk - Analysis of the differences between the group of people we are looking at and their peers gets to their real story and the challenges they might be facing. It tells us about the impact that these challenges have in different areas of people’s lives, like school, work or family,  It also tells us about underlying causes and protective and risk factors.

Rooted in evidence of effectiveness to tackle the problem - Learning, where we can, from the experience of others and evaluating new approaches. This is important so interventions can be replicated if they work or revised if they don't.

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