Let´s prevent violence against women and girls – we have more knowledge than we think
It is time for developed and developing countries alike to take the issues of the prevention of gender based violence seriously by investing in what will stop the violence and assist the victims to survive better.
We have evidence on what works and how to implement it, but we are not using it. Currently victims experience pain and loss equivalent to 5% of GDP for inter-personal violence in developed countries and much higher in many less affluent countries. Yet the evidence shows that a relatively small investment – maybe 2/10th of one percent of GDP – would reduce violence by 50% within 10 years.
The critical implementation steps require a shift from over-relying on what does not work to investing in what has been proven to work. It must also include greater investment in (secondary) pre-crime prevention programs that follow a ¨logical model¨ to reduce violence against women and children. The World Health Organization is providing leadership to help governments make the shifts in orientation and resources.
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Let´s Get Smart on Crime in Canada – Make A Safe Canada, Safer for All (and, SaveTaxes)
The time is long overdue to shift from over-reliance on a ¨reactive, punishment and sensational case¨ agenda to a ¨victim centred, prevention and evidence based agenda¨. Canada must get smart on crime by supporting its pioneering best practices in effective community safety and victim rights, catch up with other advanced nations, and use evidence on what is cost effective.
Canada needs a Crime Reduction and Victim Assistance Act that establishes a National Crime Reduction and Victim Assistance Board to spearhead the shift to an effective violence reduction and victim assistance agenda, through federal, provincial, territorial and municipal collaboration to support all sectors with funding to establish standards, research and development, training and data. It should establish consensus to set and evaluate targets for 2025.
Interpersonal violence does $83 billion in harm to victims each year in Canada – equivalent to 5% of the Canadian GDP. We have the knowledge that investing as little as 1/10th of one percent of our GDP – $1.6 billion – in proven and logical prevention strategies annually would reduce this harm of interpersonal violence to victims by at least 50% by 2025. Why not?
Because investment in proven violence prevention would reduce street and intimate partner violence, it will reduce the demand for: expensive policing; jails overcrowded with persons waiting trial; and unnecessary incarceration. By 2025, it could avoid growth in expenditures on policing and prisons and so save $6 billion a year in current dollars.
Canada must also champion national standards for services and rights for all crime victims that are at least as good as other advanced nations. This will require a proportion of the new investment in prevention to go to the implementation and evaluation of actions that would truly support and show respect for victims of violence on streets, in intimate partnerships and in other areas of living.
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Major UN Crime Congress to Celebrate and Advance Magna Carta for Victim Rights
Millions of people, including many women and children, throughout the world still suffer harm unnecessarily as a result of crime, abuse of power and terrorism. Despite 30 years of progress, too many victims have too few rights. In addition, too many suffer hardship when assisting in the prosecution of perpetrators.
In 1985, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a land mark decision for victims by resolving to prevent victimization and implement the UN Declaration on Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.
The UN Organization on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is organizing a special ¨High Level Event¨ to take stock of progress and provide guidance for the future at the UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Congress is expected to be attended by more than 7000 persons, including the top Justice and Public Safety officials from more than 150 national governments.
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Science Not Retribution will Stop Homicide
How can we honor the hope expressed by Michael Brown Sr. that the death of his son Michael in Ferguson, Mo., last summer will ¨lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone?”
St Louis has such high losses of life from homicide that, on a per capita basis, it is one of four U.S. cities in the list of the 50 most violent cities in the world and it is rising in this embarrassing list. But this is not inevitable, it is preventable but it will require politicians to use Smarter Crime Control to apply science to save seven thousand or more lives and by the way save tens of billions of tax dollars annually.
Unfortunately the informed debaters such as the recent New York Times Debate about public safety still do not talk about effective violence prevention. They ignore the US science on effective and cost effective violence prevention, which show that we already know how to prevent violence and it is not by tinkering with police powers or overuse of incarceration.
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Epidemic of violence and incarceration for young black males is not inevitable but preventable
Everyone knows that the USA has the highest rates of incarceration in the world. But not everyone knows that among affluent democracies, it also has the worst rates per capita for young men killed in homicides, traffic fatalities and drug related deaths. It is not just the war on drugs that has failed but the war on street violence and traffic safety.
This new book analyses the criminological knowledge amassed in the last 30 years to identify concrete actions for politicians for the next five years. Politicians could cut violence by 50% or more, saving $300 billion in harm to victims. If politicians stopped overusing incarceration and reduced expenditures on actions by police, courts and corrections because there is less crime, they would save taxpayers $50 billion or more.
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