Within the Department of Social Determinants of Health, the Violence Prevention Unit focuses on preventing interpersonal violence in all its forms and in all settings - child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner violence, rape or sexual assault by strangers, abuse of older people, violence in institutional settings such as schools, workplaces, prisons and nursing homes – with an emphasis on preventing violence against children¹. The Violence Prevention Unit provides strategic leadership on the topic; develops evidence, norms and standards, including implementation tools;
WHO ARE WE?
The Violence Prevention Unit’s small team based in WHO’s headquarters in Geneva works closely with colleagues in other departments and units such as Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research; and builds national capacities to address these issues; and fosters global advocacy. It does so by engaging a broad range of partners and networks to scale up effective action and track progress in countries.
The purpose of this document is to outline the Violence Prevention Unit’s approach to violence prevention, and its objectives and activities for 2022-2026. It is aimed at policy-makers, civil society organizations, academics, funders and in fact, anyone who would like to know more about the who, why, how, what, when and where of violence prevention efforts at WHO.
Demographic Change and Healthy Ageing. Alongside WHO’s headquarter-based violence prevention staff, regional advisers in each of the six WHO regions work closely to support the uptake and implementation of WHO violence prevention resources by countries.
¹ WHO defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against
a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation”. This definition encompasses interpersonal violence, suicidal behaviour, and forms of collective violence such as armed conflict. Interpersonal violence is violence inflicted by another individual or by a small group of individuals, including family members, intimate partner, acquaintances or strangers.