Violence Prevention at CDC

Violence is a serious problem in the United States.

Violence is a serious problem in the United States. It affects people in all stages of life — from infants to the elderly — and has profound impact on lifelong health, opportunity, and well-being.

In 2019, more than 19,100 people were victims of homicide.

More than 1.5 million were treated in hospital emergency departments for an assault-related injury.

Violence also erodes communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.

The Division of Violence Prevention

In 1979, the U.S. Surgeon General identified violent behavior as a key public health priority. In 1980, CDC began studying patterns of violence. This effort grew into a national program to reduce the death and disability associated with injuries outside the workplace. In 1992, CDC established the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) as the lead federal organization for violence prevention. The Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) is one of three divisions within NCIPC. DVP is focused on preventing violence and its consequences so that all people, families, and communities are safe, healthy, and free from violence.

DVP is committed to stopping violence before it begins (i.e., primary prevention). The division works to:

  • Monitor violence-related behaviors, injuries, and deaths
  • Conduct research on the factors that put people at risk for or protect them from violence
  • Create and evaluate the effectiveness of violence prevention programs, practices, and policies
  • Help state and local partners plan, implement, and evaluate violence prevention efforts
  • Promote the effective adoption and dissemination of violence prevention strategies