According to the AHA/ACHI Hospital Approaches to Interrupt the Cycle of Violence guide, exposure to violence significantly increases the likelihood of an individual being a perpetrator of violence or experiencing repeated violent injury in the future, creating an ongoing cycle of violence.
Prevention poses a challenge because violence occurs as part of a cycle of learned behaviors that are further perpetuated by an individual’s exposure to trauma. Though it may appear to be an intractable problem, violence can be prevented by addressing the underlying socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral risk factors that increase the likelihood that an individual will become a victim or perpetrator of violence.
Hospitals can play an important role at each level of prevention. By partnering with community stakeholders, hospitals can implement primary prevention approaches to address risk factors at the relationship, community and society levels and help prevent violence from occurring.