Why Injury and Violence Prevention Matter
Experiencing injury or violence can have a lifelong impact. People can suffer short-term effects, such as missing work or school, and long-term effects, such as chronic illness or death. Injury and violence cost society hundreds of billions of dollars in medical care and lost productivity each year.
The Injury Center focuses on improving lives by stopping injuries and violence before they happen—also known as primary prevention.
- Many adults experienced adverse childhood experiences — about 64% of U.S. adults reported they had experienced at least one type of ACE before age 18. Experiencing ACEs is connected to long term health effects. Preventing ACEs may avert up to 21 million cases of depression, 1.9 million cases of heart disease, and 2.5 million cases of overweight/obesity.
- Drug overdoses have dramatically increased over the last two decades, with overdose deaths increasing more than 500% between 1999 and 2020. When we act early, we can prevent the use and misuse of drugs, like opioids, that can lead to substance use disorders and overdose.
- Community violence takes lives and leaves a legacy of trauma. Young people are disproportionately impacted by violence in their communities, including firearm injuries and deaths—over half of US homicides in 2020 occurred among those ages 15 to 34. Preventing community violence will lessen the physical, emotional, and financial pain that impacts individuals, their families, and communities.
The Injury Center has been at the forefront of injury and violence prevention, using surveillance, research, programs, and partnerships to:
- build national data systems to track trends in violent deaths and overdose,
- research critical issues including ACEs and suicide,
- fund national programs such as Rape Prevention and Education Program (RPE) and Drug Free Communities,
- support health departments, research institutions, community-based organizations, and American Indian and Alaska Native Communities.
While all people are affected by injury and violence, specific communities and minority groups are impacted more.
- The firearm homicide rate in 2020 was the highest recorded in over 25 years. Young people, males, and Black people have the highest firearm homicide rates and experienced the largest increases in 2020.
- Some groups have a greater likelihood of dying from a traumatic brian injury (TBI) or living with long-term problems that resulted from the injury, including people living in rural areas, military service members and veterans, and people who experience homelessness.
- People who identify as sexual minorities have higher rates of suicide attempts compared to heterosexual people. Almost a quarter (23.4%) of high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual reported attempting suicide in the prior 12 months. This rate is nearly four times higher than the rate reported among heterosexual students (6.4%)
As we move forward, the Injury Center continues to focus its efforts on those at greatest risk for injury and violence to elevate the health and well-being of all people. Across many topics, we are working to ensure equity in policies, programs, and services related to injury and violence.
CDC’s Injury Center focuses on multiple crucial topics including:
- Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs),
- Community violence,
- Sexual violence,
- Transportation safety,
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and more
Experiencing injury or violence can have a lifelong impact. People can suffer short-term effects, such as missing work or school, and long-term effects, such as chronic illness or death. Join the Injury Center in understanding and changing the world around us, so everyone, everywhere, every day can be safe and free from injury and violence.
- Fast Facts | Injury Center (cdc.gov)
- Priority Areas | CDC
- Adverse Childhood Experiences | Injury | CDC
- Drowning Prevention | CDC
- Drug Overdose | Injury Center | CDC
- Community Violence Prevention | Violence Prevention | Injury Center | CDC
- Firearm Violence Prevention | Violence Prevention | Injury Center | CDC
- Older Adult Falls (cdc.gov)
- Sexual Violence | Violence Prevention | Injury Center | CDC
- Suicide Prevention (cdc.gov)
- Transportation Safety | Motor Vehicle Safety | CDC Injury Center
- Traumatic Brain Injury / Concussion | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center