Means of Violence: Workshop in Brief


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In an average day, there are approximately 4,000 violent deaths across the globe. In 1 week, there are 26,000, and in 1 month, 120,000. Workshop speaker James Mercy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted that these figures are directly influenced by the means and methods selected as tools of violence and their degree of lethality; simply put, means matter. The more lethal a given mean or method of violence, the more likely that it will cause a higher burden of both self-directed and interpersonal lethal violence. In order to explore this relationship in greater depth, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Forum on Global Violence Prevention held a workshop on December 18-19, 2014, with the aim of illuminating the lethal means and methods of both self-directed and interpersonal violence. This broad topic was designed to be an extension of the 2013 IOM/National Research Council (NRC) report Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence. The discussion on the lethal means of violence was limited to topical areas selected by the planning committee and did not include certain lethal means and geographic locations. The meeting was not intended to be a full overview of the field and should not be construed as reflecting any group consensus.