While there are many ways to deal with the effects of violence, it should be a priority for governments, nongovernmental organizations and service-based organizations to focus on addressing the underlying causes of violence in order to prevent future violence from occurring. Researching violence prevention has proven to be bittersweet for me. While it is unfortunate that violence remains widespread, it is outstanding to see the success of many initiatives that address violence prevention.
I have been greatly intrigued by human rights, in particular women’s rights. This sparked interest and curiosity guided my initial research and culminated into three sections: domestic, gender-based, and youth violence. It is my aim in this chapter to bring light to a variety of measures that may be taken to help prevent these types of violence. In the context of my chapter, domestic violence concerns violence within the home, involving families. Gender-based violence involves violence against women in post-conflict environments, communities, and other locations outside of the home. Lastly, youth violence focuses on violence inflicted upon or between youth in schools and neighborhoods, but not gang involvement – for more information on gangs please consult Julio Serrano’s Violence Prevention II chapter. Within the three sections, I found a commonality in that many of the victims of these forms of violence are children and women.
Remedying the issue, conversely, is not a simple task, as sexist attitudes are often deeply ingrained within the framework of traditions and cultures. Through research with my fellow interns, I found the “practice” of acid throwing to be most disturbing, a permanent physical and mental scar on a woman, yet it is an all too common incident. For more information on acid attacks, please refer to Chelsea Luo’s chapter on Healing through Medical and Alternative Therapies. However, a particularly intriguing practice that I came across and included in my chapter is the move away from preventing violence after it has occurred, to the identification of its root causes. This shift is crucial as it ensures that proactive measures become the prime focus. However, violence intervention still remains critical, with complete prevention early on being a long-term process. A few of my sources include this as a component of their initiatives, and I also believe this is to be the most effective course of action.
Violence should not be a norm or a mere topic of discussion with a lack of redress. It warrants immediate action, and that action starts with analyzing the root causes of violence. We, as responsible and accountable individuals, must do all we can to help heal the wounds and end the cycle of violence.
Chase Garcia, Scripps Ranch High School
WorldLink 2014 Summer Intern