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Violence Prevention: Basic Steps for Safety and Security


Violence prevention has become part of our daily lives.  Everyone is exposed to violence at increasing rates.

Violence is everywhere.  It is in our morning newspapers, on the Internet, television, games, and movies.  At times, it seems there’s no escape from it.

Our exposure to violence affects our mental health —  especially for children.  A vast number of children are experiencing violence in their homes, neighborhoods, and schools.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month for many people throughout the world.  However, with respect to violence prevention, ideally, everyone should remain vigilant in preventing violence and intervening when we witness violent behavior.

Here are some violence prevention basic steps and information.

Preventing Violence

Violence Prevention — Security and Safety

Security and safety should be your first priority in preventing violence.

For example, if you think your child is at risk of being hurt by themselves or by someone else — intervene immediately — get some help.  Call a crisis hotline, local police, or emergency medical services.

Call your pediatrician or family doctor and voice your concerns to them, as well.  Like any requirement for success, be persistent in trying to obtain help from a doctor.  It may require that you call a physician every day until you can receive an appointment.

Make contact with your child’s school counselor and teachers.  Sometimes, a teacher can tell when a child is struggling.  They also spend a lot of time with your child and know your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Continue reaching out for help until you find an organization, person, doctor, psychologist, therapist, and/or counselor to help you in obtaining a safe environment, assistance, therapy, and treatment.

Use Social Networks and Support Systems

Bad things happen to us despite our good intentions and efforts.  Someone close to us will die — someone we love and care deeply about will become a victim of violence.  Additionally, most people experience financial hardships, divorces, and illnesses.

As hard as we try, we will be unable to prevent many hardships from happening to us.  The real issue is not being able to prohibit bad things happening to us — many of these issues are out of our control.

What is important is how we handle these events; how we cope when they do occur.

Maintaining a positive mental attitude, while coping with the unforeseen negative events in our lives, is essential to our health and well-being.  To get through these tough times it is important that we be flexible, have a high frustration tolerance, and try to maintain a sense of humor.

Additionally, one of your best defenses against violence is asking questions.  We cannot know everything.  Reach out — ask questions and seek answers from your family, friends, community, organizations, and social networks.

Be Hopeful, Patient, and Persistent

Above all, be hopeful — despite the many challenges you encounter regarding violence and mental health.  We have come a long way in recognizing, understanding, preventing, intervening, and identifying violence and mental health issues.

The quicker and earlier we intervene, the more likely we will be successful in making things better for ourselves and the ones we love and cherish.

If you, or someone you know needs help you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to get assistance.  People are standing by and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

International support can also be obtained at the International Directory of Domestic Violence.

There should never be anyone who is a victim of abuse!  Support is available for those in need.

(Featured image courtesy of Dualdflipflop via Flickr | Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 2.0)

About the author: George Zapo CPH, is certified in Public Health Promotion and Education (Kent State University). George provides informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles.

19 comments… add one
  • Aaron Ndaa

    Your article has rekindled old age debate about DV. It is really unimaginable why at any time this monster has been and is increasingly being used to supress other peoples’ will. When reading contributions from different people who have accessed your article it is clear no one is supportive of violent behaviour. I have thought about the Sigmund Freud of this world! The Aristotle, Albert Enstein, the list is endless, they have done great work to inform not just their families and friends, but the global family about how to negotiate our individual spaces withing or among groups. What is learned can be unlearned! I hesitate to propose other terms related to violence such as institutional violence (when the local authority denies people access to safe water or electricity power), administrative violence (in the case of those campaigning to be considered for positions-usually political). We have watched these events with minimum awe to the effects they end up causing. I wish school can be used as entry points to create awareness about this monster (violence), perhaps future children can help create a conducive and healthy world, where everyone accepts the other for what they are, and there will be increased tolerance to diverse thinking. I have witnessed manipulative acts that are targeted at getting what one is not entitled through violence. For the world to tackle violence, there is need to have messages targeted at individual through to global institutions. Violence is not something we can hand over to legal institutions to deal with, it has to be a collective effort where everyone plays their party, (that is be it perpetrators or victims or observers of violence. It is important to think about who to target to get the message of no violence across. My next visit is the UN system, where I believe more lobbying need to be fixated to create the spill down effect. Unless I commit to do something to change my attitude about violence, eradicating violence will remain a pipe dream! Thanks for opening up this discussion point.

    • We appreciate your concern and comment pertaining to this important issue, Aaron!

      Thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts!

  • Denise Barkel

    I can not imagine living life with the fear so many have experience, I hope that people are aware that there is help out there. This was a very eye opening article that’s for sharing. I know that we have lived out lives with the TV off most of the time and playing games as a family and it has been a very good decision that we made early on.

    • Great point, Denise! Family cohesiveness is a good way to help deter and alleviate violence.

  • Fred Thornton

    Very interesting article. The economic downturn and loss of jobs by many has created a breeding ground for domestic abuse. I would hope that people would reach out for help before such a terrible incident happens.

    • I have to agree with you, Fred. Unfortunately, there are some parts of the world where people cannot get the help they need…

  • Chuck Bartok

    “Maintaining a positive mental attitude and health while coping with the unforeseen negative events in our lives is essential to our health and well-being.”

    The more we learn to speak well to ourselves, the easier it seems to be to cope!
    A timely Topic, thanks George

  • You’re welcome, and thank you, as well Lynn!

  • igor Griffiths

    George very timely post and glad you did not fall into the gender trap when it comes to violence, no matter who the victim is regardless of their gender, the suffering both physical and emotional is equally damaging.

    Glad you raised awareness of this, for even though we should be more connected and able to call on friends for help due to the rise the social internet, I believe most people feel increasing lonely and unsure of who to call upon for help.

    igor Griffiths

    • Thank for sharing your thoughts Igor! It’s reassuring to know that others share my point of view and want to reach out and offer advice and/or assistance.

  • Lynda Appell

    The other day I looked up my father, Dave Appell on imdb
    One of his songs “Rules of Love” sung by the Orlons was featured in the Showtime TVmovie “An American Crime” 2007 It was the horrific Sylvia Likens case. To cut to the chase it was the true story of 16 year old girl horrifically tortured and eventually murdered.1965 My point in writing this is the police were contacted, they did nothing, her clergyman didn’t believe her, neighbors etc. To me the one good here is the lesson she taught us. If someone is pleading to be helped. Listen, check it out!!!
    I agree with you if someone helped she might be living today. Yes I urge people to contact professionals who may be helpful like you wrote in your cogent post. BTW these cases are still going on.

    • Lynda, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter! I appreciate your concern and suggestions!

  • Tina Bosela

    What a great article. Thanks for the links that you have provided. When I was young we had no one to turn to for help. There is no reason why anyone cannot get the help they may need.

    Thanks again,

    • Thank you, Tina! I’m sorry to hear about your lack of support in your earlier years. Let’s try and make it better…

  • Carol Scheid

    Unhealthy behavior affects many aspects of our lives as you described. I watch very little TV, or news, very seldom read the paper, heck I don’t even like watching the weather channel anymore because it is unfortunately negative. There is nothing good about hurricanes, earthquakes, mud slides…etc. Since I have made these changes I am much more aware of negative environments around me and have avoided many people because of the words to choose to spit out. It is amazing that people think it is ok for them to voice a bunch of negative crap on to others. These people do not even realize the words they are using and how it affects others. This world needs a lot of work.

    • Thank you, Carol! Some of us are doing the best we can to help those in need; sacrificing and trying to provide reassurance and guidance…

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