Violence is a hazard to health and well-being and
is now so recognized throughout the world by leaders in medicine and
public health. The World Bank has attempted to quantify the global
burden of disease, including violence-related conditions that
negatively affect the state of the world's health (ie, automobile
injuries, falls, homicide, suicide, and war),1- 3 although
such quantifications have incited criticism and controversy. Leading
medical and public health agencies, including the World Health
Organization, the Institute of Medicine, and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, have declared violence a public health
priority, and leading medical journals commemorated the 50th
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by publishing
many articles on the health effects of violence.4- 6 Thus,
violence can shed its defensive mantle—it no longer deserves to hide
behind the common appellations "controversial public health issue"
or "unavoidable fact of life." Violence must be recognized as a
neglected epidemic that soon may surpass infectious disease as the
principal cause of morbidity and premature mortality
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