Pan American Health and Education FoundationThe Pan American Health and Education Foundation


Unprecedented Opportunity
Violence is a serious global public health problem that continues to devastate societies, especially in poor countries. It affects everyone --from individuals, families and communities to universities, hospitals and businesses.

A WHO study in 2000 provides the following grim global statistics:

  • Violence is a leading cause of death for people aged 15-44
  • On average, 1,424 people are murdered every day -- almost one person every minute
  • 57,000 children were victims of homicide in 2002
  • Some 199,000 youth were murdered in 2002
  • 1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in her lifetime
  • 10-50% of women experienced physical violence by an intimate partner

The time has come to do something about the 1.6 million violent deaths worldwide each year.

Photo © Fran HenryThe good news: this deadly phenomenon is preventable, and there is an unprecedented project underway to usher in this needed transformation in poor countries with great need and great capacity for positive change.

" and security don't just happen; they are the result of collective consensus and public investment."
Nelson Mandela, World report on violence and health
World Health Organization, 2002 

The Project
The Global Violence Prevention Advocacy project, an ambitious 18-month initiative (through April 2007), will lay the foundation to provide financial and technical assistance to poor countries to reduce violence. The goal is to implement the ideas and methods in WHO's World report on violence and health, that declared violence a preventable public health issue and published materials showing how to conduct the science of violence prevention. The remarkable conclusion: people can use scientific principles to make the necessary changes to prevent violence.

This project aims to build a broad coalition of individual supporters from organizations who endorse and fund this work; to create advocacy materials; to research the successes and methods of comparable movements for other public health coalitions; and to work with political leaders and leaders in the media to highlight the issues.

This project represents the first phase of what is envisioned to be a sustained commitment to close the gap between today's reality and what poor countries urgently need.

The Harsh Reality
There are seven forms of violence this project will address: self-directed, youth, child maltreatment, sexual, intimate partner, elder and collective.

Ninety (90%) of violent deaths worldwide occur in poor countries. Violence inhibits the development in these countries, both socially and economically. Compounding the problem, these countries lack resources to design and implement the programs required to prevent it.

Current Situation  In the Americas
Homicide  120,000 per year
Suicide  55,000 per year 
Intra-Family Violence 20-60% of households
Juvenile Gangs Increasing into the thousands
Child Labor 17.4 million in Latin America & the Caribbean
Violence Against Women 20-60% live in violent situations
Female Sexual Abuse  33% of women 16-49 report being victims of sexual abuse. And at least 45% of women have been threatened by their partner

Country needs vary -- some require planning assistance, others scientific expertise. But they all need funding from wealthier countries to make their prevention plans work.

Your Help is Needed!
The Global Violence Prevention Advocacy Project can save lives and alleviate suffering.

It has the ingredients for success: using science to advance violence prevention in a sustainable way. But the project requires investment first. It needs people to endorse the work and people who can fund the work.

Won't you help us meet the challenge?


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