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Resolution

Treating Violence as a Public Health Crisis

WHEREAS, in America, violence manifests itself in many forms, including, but not limited to, systemic and structural violence, such as racism, police crimes, and economic disparities, as well as interpersonal violence, such as domestic and sexual abuse and community harm; and

WHEREAS, this trend of violence is duplicated in almost every major city in America, has reached epidemic proportions, and costs America substantial loss of life every year among all segments of population; and

WHEREAS, a national study entitled, "Violence in the United States: Status, challenges, and opportunities," published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. on August 4, 2015, states, in part: "Interpersonal violence, which includes child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and elder abuse, affects millions of US residents each year. However, surveillance systems, programs, and policies to address violence often lack broad, cross-sector collaboration, and there is limited awareness of effective strategies to prevent violence;" and

WHEREAS, a national study entitled, "Violence in the United States: Status, challenges, and opportunities," published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. on August 4, 2015, states, in part: "Interpersonal violence, which includes child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and elder abuse, affects millions of US residents each year. However, surveillance systems, programs, and policies to address violence often lack broad, cross-sector collaboration, and there is limited awareness of effective strategies to prevent violence;" and

WHEREAS, violence affects communities in a very similar way to infectious diseases as the pathological effects of violence are deep and far-reaching, leaving scars on individual bodies and minds, and on society; and

WHEREAS, similar to a metastatic form of cancer, violence can take root and spread throughout communities; and

WHEREAS, similar to understanding the pathological characteristics of medical and mental disorders, there is a need to understand the entirety of the disease of violence-root and branch-to prevent and eradicate it; and

WHEREAS, prevention programs in communities that successfully address violence in those communities but have lost significant funding.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP declares that violence in America is a public health concern and should be treated as a disease.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP urges the Congress of the United States to conduct formal hearings to discover systemic and proximate causes of violence in America, to receive testimony regarding changes in American Society that may be undertaken to stem violence and alleviate the effects of violence on American people, as well as provide funding to implement programs that address violence as a public health concern.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will urge all limits to collaborate with other civic and health care organizations to educate the public and institutions regarding violence as a disease.

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