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When we talk about ‘the causes of the causes’, we mean digging deeper to find out what it is that causes violence – beyond the obvious. This allows us to understand the determinants of violence. This video explains what a determinant is;

This next video explains what the social determinants of life are;

Violence affects all people at all ages, regardless of race, gender or economic status. Some people are at a greater risk of violence due to inequalities in the causes of the causes of violence.

When working with the community to prevent and reduce violence, we need to be aware of the adverse experiences and trauma that many individuals will have experienced during their life. Often these experiences shape the choices we all make in each moment, and so we take a trauma informed approach to the work we do. The following video explains how Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma are linked, and how they can lead to involvement in violence, either as a victim or perpetrator, in later life.

There has been a lot of research done on the social determinants of health. The things that determine our health are the same things that determine our lives, including our involvement with violence (either as a victim or perpetrator).

The broad social and economic circumstances that together determine the quality of the health of the population are known as the ‘social determinants of health’.

The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit adaptation of the Dahlgren and Whitehead model shows:

  • Individual characteristics occupy the core of the model and include sex, age, and ethnicity.
  • Adverse childhood experiences such as care giver incarceration, substance abuse, mental illness and caregiver separation, witnessing caregiver violence and physical or emotional neglect.
  • Trauma which can include emotional, physical and sexual abuse, trafficking, war as a civilian and many more.
  • Relationships such as lack of strong role models and an always available adult, lack of belonging, income and more.
  • Community networks which can involve low social mobility, visible violence, social support networks and more are listed on the diagram below.
  • Social and economic conditions; work environment, education, access to healthcare, adequate housing and more are listed below.

The risk and protective factors model

The risk and protective factors model stems from the four elements of the WHO ecological model of violence which explores the relationship between individual and contextual factors. The diagram is pictured below.

Protective factors can act as a buffer to risk factors and can produce a positive long-term effect. There is a complex interaction between risk and protective factors, increasing protective factors is essential to a strong approach to violence reduction. The figure below shows both these factors combined.