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Violence Prevention Alliance Launches Plan of Action 2012-2020

May 23, 2012

This week the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), of which IPPNW is an active member, launched the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention (GCVP)2012-2020.  The VPA is a network of WHO Member States, international agencies and civil society organizations working to prevent violence. This Plan aims to unify the efforts of the main actors in international violence prevention and identify a small set of priorities for the field.  It was developed in response to a need for a plan of action identified by hundreds of violence prevention experts who convened at the September 2011 Fifth Milestones in a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa and the April 2012 Violence Prevention Alliance meeting in Munich, Germany.

IPPNW Drs. Daniel Bassey, Andrew Winnington and Bob Mtonga (L,M,R) with colleagues from Nigeria and Zambia at the WHO Violence Prevention Meeting Cape Town

IPPNW leaders participated in both of these planning events with colleagues from academia, education, public health, UN agencies, and other NGOs.

The Plan of Action presents six national level goals towards which violence prevention efforts can be directed. The objective of the GCVP in the coming years will be to support the achievement of these goals in countries around the world.

The first two goals aim to prioritize violence prevention within the global public health agenda; the next three aim to build strong foundations for ongoing violence prevention efforts; and the last aims to promote the implementation of evidence-informed violence prevention strategies which address parenting, life-skills, social norms, alcohol, the risks of firearm-related deaths and injuries, and services for victims. These strategies have the potential to prevent multiple types of violence.

The target audience for this Plan of Action is the global violence prevention community, including governments, United Nations and official development assistance agencies, philanthropic foundations, nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions.


Every year there are approximately 530,000 homicides throughout the world, 90% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). For every death, there are numerous non-fatal injuries, and there are estimated to be over 16 million cases of non-fatal violence-related injuries severe enough to require medical attention.Beyond deaths and injuries, highly prevalent forms of violence (such as child maltreatment and intimate partner violence) have serious non-injury health consequences. Victims may engage in high-risk behaviours such as alcohol and substance misuse, smoking, and unsafe sex, which in turn can contribute to cardiovascular disorders, cancers, depression, diabetes and HIV/AIDS – themselves leading causes of death. In countries with high levels of violence, economic growth can be slowed down, personal and collective security eroded, and social development impeded.Violence is preventable. Evidence from high-income countries (HIC) and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) shows strong relationships between levels of violence and potentially modifiable factors such as economic inequality; access to firearms; access to and harmful use of alcohol; and poor monitoring and parental supervision of children. Scientific research shows that programmes to address the underlying causes of violence are effective in reducing the rate of new cases, and that pre-hospital and emergency medical care can reduce the number of deaths and other negative health consequences when violence does occur.

We encourage you to take every opportunity to:
*Use this Plan of Action as a template for your own relevant plans and activities;
* Bring this Plan of Action to the attention of partners in national government;
* Refer to this Plan of Action whenever your activities may be contributing to it;
* Provide feedback on this Plan of Action and your efforts to implement it.

The Plan of Action can be downloaded here.

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