This document describes a framework that incorporates public health, law enforcement, social service, and education perspectives into preventing violence. Violence is among the most serious health threats in the nation today, jeopardizing the health and safety of the public. The health consequences for those who are victimized or exposed to violence are severe and can include serious physical injuries, trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other longer-term health problems. In addition, the social impacts of violence-- diminished academic achievement and worker productivity, the deterioration of families and communities-- are substantial and costly. For all these reasons, understanding and approaching violence as a preventive/public health issue has added value.

Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the problem of violence, practitioners have increasingly turned toward a broader, more comprehensive approach.  The approach in this document emphasizes prevention in the first place, community-wide solutions rather than one individual or family at a time, and public health practitioners as neutral facilitators of collaboration.

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