There is nothing inevitable about violence; it is preventable. To have the greatest impact we need to co-ordinate and target our actions where they will have the greatest effect. The VRU is guided by the evidence of where the problems are and the science of what works in tackling their root causes Interventions, especially those in early childhood, not only prevent individuals developing a propensity for violence but also improve educational outcomes, employment prospects and long term health outcomes.
Violence reduction is also a global issue. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set violence as a core feature of its global work programme from 2002. The World Health Violence Prevention Alliance provides a global network of governments and agencies committed to violence reduction and sharing evidence based practice. The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit is an alliance of organisations in the West Midlands which share the priority of ‘reducing violence’, and have signed up to the Alliance’s aims:
- Create, Implement and Monitor a West Midlands regional action plan for violence prevention
- Enhance the capability for collecting data on violence
- Define priorities for, and support on research on, the causes, consequences, costs and prevention of violence
- Promote ‘Primary Prevention’ Responses
- Strengthen responses for victims of violence
- Integrate violence prevention into social and educational policies, and thereby promote gender and social equality
- Increase collaboration and exchange of information on violence prevention
Read our opening report, Protecting people and promoting healthy lives in the West Midlands.