Editorials

Tackling violence

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7135.879 (Published 21 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:879

Interagency procedures and injury surveillance are urgently needed

  1. Jonathan P Shepherd, Professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery
  1. Department of Oral Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff CF4 4XY

    Violence is now on the public health agenda in Britain largely because of increases in injury and homicide rates, particularly among men, and an increase in reports of domestic violence. In the absence of a national system of violence surveillance in accident and emergency departments, surveys such as the British Crime Survey are a starting point for understanding the circumstances and extent of assault, and one lesson that emerges is that health professionals need to do more to help prevent violence.

    In 1995 the British Crime Survey data showed that the most common type of violence was that by acquaintances (40% of violent offences), followed by domestic violence (25%), violence by strangers (25%) and during robberies (10%) and that men were most at risk (6.7% of men; 3.8% of women).1 Importantly in a medical context, repeat victimisation is more common for violence than for other crimes: 30% of victims in the 1995 survey (and 43% in a 1989 …

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