Violence prevention in the community
Violence in America has become an epidemic. It threatens not only your physical health but the integrity of simple social foundations such as family, community and health care systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, from infants to the elderly, violence affects people in all stages of life. In 2010, over 16,250 people were victims of homicide and over 38,360 took their own life. If you include physical and emotional violence, statistics are much higher. Violence can range from child maltreatment, elderly abuse, global violence, intimate partner violence, school violence, sexual violence, suicide and youth violence.
Prevention is extremely important as all violent deaths or injuries are in fact preventable. Violence prevention has become a priority in the St. Louis region with multiple service providers joining forces to stop the violence in this region. In order to prevent violence in a community, there must first be a comprehensive strategy for prevention, intervention, enforcement and a re-entry strategy for the community. This is just the first step in making communities safer.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital, in collaboration with other facilities in the area, joined forces to distribute gun locks. We were able to distribute and educate our community about the importance of gun safety. Violence is preventable and it takes the entire culture of the community to help make a difference.
We monitor violence-related injuries, conduct research on violence and best practices for prevention, have created programs for the community and have worked with state and local organizations to develop a strategy to stop violence.
You can help prevent violence by following these tips:
- Firearms should always be stored unloaded
- Use gun locks
- Keep your guns in a secured safe and away from children
- Educate your children about violence, including stranger danger
- Know where your children are at all times
- Teach your children to trust their instincts
- Be aware of your surroundings – do not walk or jog in early morning or late at night
- Do not carry large amounts of cash on you
- Walk in groups
- Have your keys out when approaching your car