This is the newest post in the "Health of Massachusetts" series, a comprehensive new report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Chapter thirteen of the “Health of Massachusetts” explores violence in Massachusetts, including bullying, sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, and child and elder abuse. Data and statistics around these issues can be difficult to capture; many assaults go unreported to medical personnel and police, even when a physical injury occurs.
Regardless of how we count assaults, deaths and injuries are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how violence affects us. The hidden effects of assaults and threats can include psychological consequences that affect quality of life and physical health. Violence can also negatively impact society through financial and property damage costs, reduced worker productivity, and a sense of fear and dread that can contribute to sedentary lifestyles and social isolation.
The good news is that violence is preventable. The more we learn about factors that increase or reduce the likelihood of violence – known as risk and protective factors – the greater the probability of putting effective prevention strategies into place.
To learn more about how common the problem is, who is most affected, mental and physical health outcomes, and risks associated with violence, visit our website at www.mass.gov/dph/healthofmassachusetts.