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injury and violence prevention (ivp) branch


Violence and Social Determinants of Health

Violence is a leading cause of injury, disability, and death. It impacts the health and well-being of all Californians – our families, neighbors, coworkers, schools, and communities.   The consequences of  violence are costly, and influence nearly all health and mental health outcomes throughout life.  Violence contributes to these negative health outcomes through trauma and toxic stress.*

Forms of Violence:

  • ​Child Maltreatment
  • ​Workplace violence
  • ​Intimate partner violence
  • ​Community violence and trauma
  • ​Teen dating violence
  • ​Gang violence
  • ​Sexual violence
  • ​Gun violence
  • ​Bullying/harassment
  • ​Police-involved violence
  • ​Youth violence
  • ​Crime (assault, robbery)
  • ​Elder maltreatment
  • ​Hate crimes
  • ​Suicide
  • ​Terrorism

Early childhood exposure to violence (child abuse, intimate partner violence) and other chronic stress (poverty, neglect, and emotional abuse) can result in injury, disease, and premature death.  A growing body of research on adverse childhood experiences has demonstrated that toxic, chronic stress harms brain development and leads to lifelong effects on learning, behavior, and health.  

​Violence itself is a social determinant of health; violence may also be a result of the environments where people live and children grow. For example, those who grow up and live in environments with limited social, educational, and economic opportunities and where violence, racism, and community and domestic instability are daily stressors are at increased risk of multiple forms of violence. Therefore, in order to prevent violence, the underlying social determinants of health need to be addressed, including root causes of inequity and social

*For a complete list of references for the content on this webpage, please see the following report: "Preventing Violence in California, Volume 1: The Role of Public Health (PDF)"​

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