Fixing the Hole in the Bridge.


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Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Today, this phrase still stands true. If we can prevent abuse in any form, before it occurs this will lessen the cost of fixing the problem after the act has been committed.

It will lessen the emotional, physical, psychological and financial cost to the individual, the family, the community, and the state. The aftercare maintenance cost of abuse is high, real high. With every new case of abuse the cost increases. It also increases many other social ills and issues which affect us as a people, and the financial burden to the state is overwhelming.

One has to remember that abuse is not an isolated social issue and it trickles down into every facet of society. Before we can implement prevention interventions and give prevention tips we need to understand what prevention includes and the levels of prevention.

The term “prevention” is reserved for those interventions that occur before the initial onset of violence. The field of public health has defined three levels of prevention: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Primary prevention aim to stop violence before it initially occurs. Secondary prevention focuses on immediate responses to violence. Tertiary prevention involves long-term approaches that occur in the aftermath of violence.

Three types of preventative interventions has also been defined, Universal preventive interventions are targeted to the general public or a whole population group that has not been identified on the basis of individual risk.

Selective preventive interventions are targeted to individuals or a subgroup of the population whose risk … is significantly higher than average.

Indicated preventive interventions are targeted to high-risk individuals who are identified as having minimal but detectable signs or symptoms … but who do not meet…diagnostic levels at the present time.

Prevention is achieved through the application of multiple strategies; it is an ongoing process that must relate to each emerging generation. Some may say “there is no surefire way to prevent violence be it sexual assault, molestation, domestic violence, murder etc” and while this statement may ring true, we cannot sit back and do nothing, prevention intervention strategies have shown a high success rate of violence reduction and prevention when implemented properly.

We must work with communities, groups and organizations to implement primary interventions strategies in this fight against violence, without primary intervention we will continue to count casualties and cost because we focus mainly on secondary and tertiary prevention interventions.

“Prevention requires a clear vision of what we’re working for, not only what we’re working against and a commitment to social change.” If we can prevent violence from touching the life of one person, one family and one community then all our efforts would not be in vain.

Using the river analogy, fixing the hole in the bridge will help not only those at greatest risk of falling in, but also everyone who crosses the river, rescuers, and those who pay for rescue costs. Our goal is to prevent pain and suffering associated with violence by stopping it before it initially occurs.

I would like to suggest the implementation of a ‘Prevention Support Unit [SUP]’ which primary aim is to establish programs, projects, and policies to deal with the prevention of violence. Breaking the Silence is not a popular choice, it is the right choice for friends do not let friends harm others.

Find me musing here on Facebook. https://m.facebook.com/MusingsofShernaAlexander?v=timeline&_rdr

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