When we talk about the effects of violence on society, the death of more than 1.6 million people each year is caused by violence, making it one of the primary triggers of death globally.
People in low- and middle-income countries are far more likely to die due to violence than countries with a lot of money. However, it should be kept to remember that violent deaths can’t just be blamed on war. More than 80% of these deaths happen outside of armed conflicts.
As we know, violence has also been shown to be a very costly problem. In 2015, the total cost of violence to the world economy was estimated at $13.6 trillion, 13.3% of the world’s GDP.
Violence has become more personal and linked to criminal activity, especially in cities. There were almost half a million intentional killings around the world in 2012. That’s what the UN’s Global Study on Homicide says.
It’s also crucial to note that violence isn’t bad for people’s health and lives. It also causes non-fatal, sexual, and psychological abuse, which can harm people’s health and lives. Violence also puts a lot of strain on health and justice systems, social welfare services, and the economy of the communities where people live.
Violence is becoming more apparent to us. So we need to think about who is the person who does the violence and who is the person who is hurt by it. As we learn more, we realize that violence comes in many different forms, not just when someone is hit or damaged by a weapon. Sexual assault, neglect, verbal attacks, insults, threats, harassment, and other psychological abuses are all part of this. The street, workplaces, public institutions, schools, and health care facilities are all places where people get into trouble.
Most of the time, violence is done by someone who knows the person who is being harmed. Violence in the world today can be random and spontaneous, like when someone lashes out in anger. It can also be planned and systematic, like when someone tries to overpower and control someone. Violence affects its victims, those who witness violence, family members, co-workers, service providers, and everyone else. It also affects everyone else.
Effects Of Violence On Society
- There are harmful effects on mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, both short-term and long-term when people do things like fight or get hurt. A person who lives in a place where there is violence or who is afraid of violence is clearly in conflict with the most critical conditions and resources for health. Violence hasn’t been made a top health issue in Canada yet. And it hasn’t been taken into account when community health services or health promotion programs are made.
People who live in a community are at risk for crime and violence. This is a public health issue. Violent things happen in many ways, and people can get hurt. They may be victims themselves, see violence or property crimes in their neighborhood. Or hear about crime and violence from other people in their community.
- Violence can lead to death before it should or cause non-fatal injuries. Physical pain and sufferings are joint for people who survive violent crimes. They may also have mental distress and a lower quality of life. There may be a link between repeated exposure to crime and violence and a rise in bad health outcomes. For example, people afraid of crime in their neighborhoods might not be as active as they used to be. As a result, they may say that their own physical and mental health is worse than it used to be. According to one study, those who fear crime are more likely to be fat owing to a lack of exercise.
- Violent exposure in a society may take numerous forms, from being a victim to seeing it or hearing about it from others. Including crimes that cause damage to the built environment is also a part of this type of crime. There are differences in crime rates based on where you live. There are more crimes and property crimes in low-income neighborhoods than in wealthy areas.
It doesn’t matter if kids and teens who have been exposed to violence are victims, witnesses, or hear about it. They can have harmful long-term behavioral and mental health outcomes no matter what. For example, children who have been exposed to violence may have behavioral problems, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other things. Children exposed to violence may also show signs of aggression in upper-elementary schools. Children exposed to a lot of violence for a long time are more likely to have anxiety, depression. And especially, behavioral problems than children who have only had a little exposure to violence.
- In adulthood, people exposed to violence as children may be more likely to use drugs, have sex with strangers, and drive recklessly. People who have been abused at any age are more likely to do and be victims of intimate partner violence. Women whose partners have been abused are more likely to have physical health problems, like broken bones, and mental health problems, like depression and suicidal thoughts.
The Health Consequences
The health consequences of being exposed to crime and violence in one’s neighborhood can be both short-term and long-term. It is possible to reduce the damages caused by crime and violence by improving public health. And also, more research is needed on what works to reduce the impact of crime and violence on health outcomes and inequities. These details will speed up attempts to address crime and violence as a public health issue.
In this summary of the literature on crime and violence as a social determinant of health, we only look at a small part of the issue. We may not have looked at all of it. Keep an eye out for new evidence or more research, and keep the summary in mind as you read through it.
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