Violence/Crime and Safety

Violence and crime have major impacts on health and well-being, affecting victims, witnesses, their families and wider communities.

Victims of violence can suffer long-lasting physical and psychological harm. Those exposed to violence in childhood are at increased risk of experiencing further violence and developing a wide range of health-damaging behaviours (e.g. substance use, risky sexual activity) and health conditions (e.g. cancers, heart disease) in later life.

Crime can also affects health indirectly through psychological and physical consequences of injury, victimisation and isolation because of fear.

Local information can be obtained from:

Further information about links between violence/crime and safety and health is available from:

Interesting Facts

  • Those exposed to violence in childhood are at increased risk of experiencing further violence and developing a wide range of health-damaging behaviours (e.g. substance use, risky sexual activity) and health conditions (e.g. cancers, heart disease) in later life
  • Violence shows one of the greatest inequalities gradients with emergency hospital admission rates for violence being around five times higher in the most deprived communities than in the most affluent
  • Exposure to violence in childhood is associated with increased drug use and alcohol consumption, and the development of substance abuse problems
  • The British Crime Survey found that 39% of those reporting past year intimate partner violence, and 54% of those suffering serious sexual assault since age 16, had experienced mental or emotional issues. Other consequences included victims stopping trusting people, having difficulties in relationships and stopping going out so much. Around one in twenty in both groups had attempted suicide

References

 

1 – Public Health Observatories. Crime & Violence (2007)
2 – Bellis MA, Hughes K, Wood S, et al. National five-year examination of inequalities and trends in emergency hospital admission for violence across England. Injury Prevention 2011;17:319-25
3 – Simpson TL, Miller WR. Concomitance between childhood sexual and physical abuse and substance use problems. A review. Clinical Psychology Review 2002;22:27-77
4 – Smith K, Osborne S, Lau I, et al. Homicide, firearm offences and intimate violence 2010/11: supplementary volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2010/11. London: Home Office, 2012
5 – Smith K, Coleman K, Eder S, et al. Homicides, firearm offences and intimate violence 2009/10: Supplementary volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2009/10. London: Home Office, 2011