Intimate Partner Violence: Are We Ready for Action?(Editorial) (Report)
Everyone is entitled to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right … to be free from all forms of violence, from either public or private sources (Article 12, Bill of Rights, Chapter 2, Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996) (author’s italics). Documenting, quantifying, intervening in and preventing interpersonal violence is a leading global public health challenge of this decade. (1) Apart from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria–where violence arguably plays an exacerbating role–what other disease process claims more than half a million lives annually, generating a burden of ‘approximately 1400 deaths a day, the equivalent of three long-haul commercial aircraft crashing every single day’? (2) Yet even death may not be the most sensitive measure of the profound impact of interpersonal violence on the lives of individuals, communities, societies, nations, regions and our very humanity. With interpersonal violence occurring anywhere that humans function, both publicly and privately–at home, at work, in the streets, markets and cinemas, and on the battlefield–this social problem poses an increasing threat to the quality of our lives and the planet. The urgency of confronting this issue cannot be clearer.