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 Injury and Violence Prevention

Intimate Partner Violence Prevention

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, intimate partner violence (IPV) in the U.S. declined from 1993 to 2004, following the trends for all violent crimes. Although this decline is encouraging, the problem remains significant, it is estimated that between 3 and 5.3 million women in America are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend per year.1,2

For many women it is deadly. On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States every day.  In 2000, 1,247 women in America were killed by an intimate partner.  It is estimated that 50 percent of men who frequently assault their wives also assault their children.  Slightly more than half of female victims of IPV live in households with children under the age of twelve, and more than three million children witness some form of IPV annually.3

In addition to the immediate physical trauma caused by abuse, IPV contributes to a number of chronic health care problems such as depression, alcohol and substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or suicide, low self esteem, lack of trust and/or healthy attachment,  and violent and/or antisocial behavior. It can also limit a woman’s ability to manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.

Child and Youth Injury Prevention

Title V programs can support activities including direct health care, enabling services, population-based services and infrastructure building. The Federal Block Grant requires State MCH programs to report on 18 national performance measures, two of which directly address injuries.

Performance # 10 - The rate of deaths to children aged 14 years and younger caused by motor vehicle crashes per 100,000 children

Performance # 16 - The rate (per 100,000) of suicide deaths among youths age 15 through 19

State MCH agencies use a variety of strategies to address their injury and violence Performance Measures. Some examples of these strategies include:

  • Training school nurses to provide infant and child safety seats to families with low incomes
  • Supporting local efforts to provide infant and child safety seats to families with low incomes
  • Sponsoring child abuse prevention training for home visiting program staff
  • Providing domestic violence prevention resources and training for health department staff directly serving women and families
  • Promoting policies for the use of bicycle helmets, personal floatation devices and booster safety seats
  • Training school nurses about ways to modify the social environment to reduce bullying and violence

Related AMCHP pages: Bullying


Safe Families Initiative

Although the United States is one of the most medically and economically advantaged countries in the world, American women suffer unexpectedly high rates of death, illness and injury during pregnancy and after childbirth. As part of a cooperative agreement with the CDC's Division of Reproductive Health, AMCHP is working to increase awareness and action around health and safety for women during pregnancy and motherhood.

This collaboration with the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) aims to provide technical assistance to state-level MCH professionals and their community partners to enhance their ability to integrate family violence assessment and prevention activities into state-level safe motherhood initiatives. In October 2006, teams from four states— Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri and New Mexico—participated in an AMCHP/FVPF-sponsored Safe Families Action Learning Lab. The teams received technical assistance via informational calls, mini-grants and site visits. The teams reconvened in fall 2008 to assess their progress, share lessons learned and engage in long-term strategic planning for systems-level changes. Several of the state teams focused on training providers to use universal screening methods for domestic violence and accurate referral techniques. One of the teams held a focus group of survivors to ensure that their processes and products effectively and appropriately address the survivors’ needs. The state team projects work to foster awareness and develop and disseminate resources to both the providers and survivors.

To further this work, AMCHP remains a member of the White Ribbon Alliance National Campaign for Safe Motherhood that is working to raise awareness of these important issues among the public and policymakers. In addition, we continue to support the Safe Motherhood Partnership a collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, with assistance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to provide materials and opportunities to state MCH leaders, health care providers and others that will help reduce maternal illness, injury and death.



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