Call to Action
+ Help spread the understanding that violence is a health issue and health approaches work!
Share this document with your friends, families, and colleagues. Discuss what it would look like if the health approach was the default approach to violence. Identify what you can do. Do some research. Is violence treated as a health issue in your local schools? What is your local hospital doing about violence? What do your local leaders know or say about violence?
+ Share links to the Framework and the Foundational Document with local leaders.
Find a health leader champion in your community that will review the existing efforts and identify steps to move closer to the full framework. Ensure that data is collected and shared among the health department, police department, hospitals, schools, community-based organizations and mental health organizations on all forms of violence.
+ Become a spokesperson, click here to view the training.
As a spokesperson, you have the ability to influence the paradigm shift. You can write an op ed for a local newspaper, include violence as a health issue in speeches or assist with integration of violence as a health issue into curriculum.
+ Ensure your local Hospitals/Health systems integrate violence indicators in needs assessment by sending this letter to the hospital CEO and this letter to your health commissioner (clicking these links will automatically download the documents).
Every few years, hospitals and many health departments complete needs assessments. They collect data to determine what the needs of the community is and they often ask for resident feedback. In many communities, violence is one of the top needs yet many hospitals and health departments do not include violence prevention in their list of services. You can work to hold these systems accountable, so that the dollars invested in your community (through community benefit, public or private dollars) are in line with the need.
+ Advocate within your sector for implementing the Framework.
Everyone has a role to play in violence prevention. Where you live, work, learn, play and grow should be safe and healthy. You can begin to implement aspects of the framework through data collection, screenings, referral protocols, trainings, hiring protocols and more.
In addition to the traditional role of saving and helping victims of violence to heal, a key role for health providers is to help people and communities remain safe in the first place. Just as community campaigns in flu season encourage vaccination and hand-washing, anti-violence efforts can counter distrust, dispel myths and encourage dispute resolution to interrupt the transmission of violence. Just as health departments can develop and coordinate local strategies to prevent infant mortality and low birthweight, they can also lead in implementing strategies to prevent violence and address the historical inequality and racial biases that allow violence to persist.
Every patient interaction within the medical system is an opportunity to prevent violence. Nurses screen patients to identify women and men experiencing intimate partner violence and provide them with access to resources and support. Clinicians address behavioral health conditions that may predispose patients to becoming victims of violence or even a perpetrator. Community health workers help young people resolve differences, make better choices and access resources necessary for success. Health workers have a key role to play and we are invested in building their capacity to lead violence prevention efforts.
Get Involved locally
Connect with your local elected officials, health department, university, hospital, and public health organizations to learn what is being done and what can be done to prevent violence. Our Framework for Action is designed to help identify opportunities in local communities and catalyze system-wide action.