Online Program

Violence in America - A new look at origins and solutions

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Gary Slutkin, MD, University of Illlinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Cure Violence, Chicago, IL
Violence operates like an infectious disease. This understanding of violence allows for the use of proven public health techniques to drastically reduce violence.

In this presentation, we will examine the public health perspective on the causes of violent behavior. This will include a discussion of the transmission of violence to individuals through modeling, norms, and trauma; the interconnectedness of different types of violence, so that exposure to one type of violence can affect your subsequent likelihood of being violent in different forms; and recent advancements in neuroscience, behavioral science, and epidemiology regarding how individuals exposed to violence are effected by it.

We will offer a national solution to this violence by identifying the characteristics of a comprehensive public health approach to violence in the United States. This solution is based on decades of work in the prevention of other infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and cholera and has been piloted, tested and honed for the past decade to effectively reduce community violence. The elements of this solution include establishing a system of detection and interruption of ongoing conflicts; identifying and changing the thinking of the highest risk; and using community norms and social pressure to prevent the use of violence.

While this proposed solution has been successful in preventing community violence, it has not been deployed to address mass-shootings such as the incident in Sandy Hook. We will discuss way in which this model can be adapted to address mass-shooting events and other types of violence as well.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define how violent behavior is developed in individuals, groups, and within a community. Describe a new scientific understanding of the transmission of violence and its effects on an individual and groups. Identify the elements of a new type of public health solution to lethal violence based on disease control methods.

Keyword(s): Violence Prevention, Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a physician, epidemiologist, infectious disease control specialist and Founder/ Executive Director of Cure Violence. I am an Ashoka Fellow, a Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a senior advisor to the World Health Organization and the 2009 Winner of the Search for a Common Ground Award.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Cure Violence Violence Prevention Founder and Executive Director

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.