Varying definitions and measurements of violence limit reduction strategies

Violence reduction is a United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal (SDG) and is important to both the public health and criminology fields. The collaboration between the two has the potential to create and improve prevention strategies but has been hampered by the usage of different definitions and measurements.

In this paper, VISION researchers Dr Niels Blom, Dr Anastasia Fadeeva and Dr Estela Capelas Barbosa explore the definitions and measurements of violence by the World Health Organization, UN, and Council of Europe to arrive at a harmonized framework aligned with the SDGs.

Violence and abuse are defined by these organizations as intentional actions that (are likely to) lead to harm, irrespective of physicality or legality. When recording violence and abuse, health- and justice-based administrative systems use different codes which cannot directly be translated without resorting to broad overarching categories.

The researchers propose a framework to record violence that includes individual and event identifiers, forms of violence and abuse (including physical, sexual, and psychological), harm, and individual and event characteristics.

For further information please see: Social Sciences | Free Full-Text | The Concept and Measurement of Violence and Abuse in Health and Justice Fields: Toward a Framework Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (

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