Violence is a vital determinant of equity and health, and the new fact sheet released by Prevention Institute's UNITY initiative demonstrates how preventing violence is an important component of any effort to achieve health equity.
Violence affects young people of color and those living in low-income areas more than other groups, and "Links Between Violence and Health Equity" makes the case that violence is a key health equity issue. In addition to serious injury and premature death, violence creates a climate where people do not feel safe, which in turn discourages economic development and investment in communities. A major determinant of trauma and other health issues, violence affects not just where people shop and go to school but also whether they walk in their neighborhood or are able to learn. Children who are scared at school prioritize safety over learning, for example, and people are less likely to be active if the local park isn't safe. We know how to prevent violence. Young people need connection, identity, opportunity and hope, and addressing violence and lack of safety is essential for creating healthy, thriving communities.
For more about the UNITY initiative and recommended strategies to prevent violence where you live and work, visit www.preventioninstitute.org/unity. Also see the other UNITY Fact Sheets to learn how violence is closely connected to other priority community issues, such as learning, mental health and chronic illness. Visit Prevention Institute's health equity web page for additional resources.