How can we create safe, connected, communities free of violence?
How does community cohesion shape health?
The same social factors and conditions that shape health and mental health, like education, income, and environment, are strongly linked to violence as well.1 Exposure to violence is preventable and influences nearly all health and mental health outcomes ranging from an individual’s ability to adopt healthy behaviors and manage stress, to chronic disease and other serious health issues, to a community’s weakened social ties and lack of economic investment.2
- Exposure to violence has been linked to increased incidence or worsening of many chronic health conditions; including asthma, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.3
- Communities where there are many risk factors (e.g. high poverty, unemployment, and crime) are more likely to experience multiple forms of violence.4
- Research has shown that strong social networks correspond with significantly lower rates of homicide and alcohol and drug use.5
How can we build community cohesion? What else can we do to prevent violence and create safe neighborhoods?
What’s being done?
Here are just a few examples of efforts underway at the state and local level to address this issue:
Action Plan to Promote Violence-Free and Resilient Communities
This plan was developed by the Health in All Policies Task Force to direct their collaborative work around violence prevention from April 2016-December 2018. With a focus on cross-sector action, the plan seeks to build State agency capacity and support coordination to address structural drivers of violence and promote communities that are safe, free of violence, and resilient.