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Interpersonal violence is a major problem in many countries around the world. There is violence on the streets, in schools, hospitals and even in churches and doctors' surgeries; but violence is also rife in the family. Three or four children die per week in the UK at the hands of their parents. 10 per cent of elderly people in Britain are subject to abuse and neglect. In Canada, 3 women per week die at the hands of a partner or former partner.
During the 17 years of the Vietnam War, 55,000 American men died on the battlefield. During the same period 53,000 American women died, at home, at the hands of their partners or former partners.
WAVE Trust is an international charity dedicated to advance public education about the root causes of violence, and effective means to reduce violence in our society. It particularly focuses on reducing child abuse and neglect, because:
1) they are major sources of the development of teenage and adult violence;
2) they underlie much emotional suffering in adults who may never be violent; and
3) it is anathema to live societies where thousands of children suffer severe physical, emotional and sexual abuse every day while we fail to apply known, economically viable, effective methods to prevent this.
WAVE draws on the best know-how worldwide for example the Healthy Start Programme in Hawaii, which since 1985 has been helping parents just before and after their babies are born, has cut rates of neglect and abuse in "at risk" families by 75%, and led to much better health care (e.g. 90% of Healthy Start children were immunised at age 2 compared with a state average of 60%).
Formed in 1996 on the Internet, by individuals in the UK, Sweden, Canada and the USA, WAVE now has members from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liberia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the United States.
Supported by leading international researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists and criminologists, WAVE recently completed a 4-year study of the root causes of violent behaviour. This concluded that pathways to violence are often laid down by 2-3 years of age, creating aggressive personalities for life. Understanding of how these pathways are laid down has expanded enormously in recent years, boosted by new discoveries about the workings of the brain. Key positive or negative building blocks include a mother's earliest handling of her baby, her subsequent style of interacting with her baby, and traumatic stress from abuse or neglect.
WAVE puts its learning into practice, and learns from its practice. Leading WAVE members have worked successfully to eliminate violence in highly violent men, in prison and in the community, in both the UK and USA "to calm their souls" as one observer put it with powerful statistical evidence of their results. WAVE researchers dedicatedly review the latest international know-how on preventing violence to ensure this can be made available to educators, policy makers and administrators.
We now know there are effective means to reduce the root causes of violence, and these means are a sound financial investment because of the huge savings they offer in the costs of crime. They are also a sound moral investment through reduced human suffering. We ask for your support to help us spread this knowledge, and reduce that suffering.
Please feel free to e-mail us if you can help us with any of the above.
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Root Causes, Alternatives, and Solutions to Violence
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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