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August 5, 1998

Violence—Ubiquitous, Threatening, and Preventable

Author Affiliations

Dr Cole is a contributing editor and Ms Flanagin is associate senior editor, JAMA , Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 1998;280(5):468. doi:10.1001/jama.280.5.468

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are taken together, yield themselves up when taken little by little .—Plutarch

Violence is a global public health problem. The causes of violence are as complex and controversial as the causes of poverty, addiction, and war. This issue of JAMA contains reports of violence against young people,1 women,2,3 older adults,4 public health workers,5 refugees,6 and people who live in war zones.7 The casualties and survivors are from industrialized and nonindustrialized nations, nations at peace and at war, and nations recovering from war. Some of the victims and survivors and perpetrators knew each other intimately, some were acquainted only by profession or by position in society, and some were not even aware of one another's existence. The unifying themes of this issue of THE JOURNAL are that violence is ubiquitous, it takes many forms, and no one is immune from its effects.

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