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A Survey Of Violent Death Worldwide

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 719 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... STUDY SURVEYS VIOLENT DEATH WORLDWIDE Associated
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 15, 2002
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      STUDY SURVEYS VIOLENT DEATH WORLDWIDE
      Associated Press
      Saturday, October 12, 2002

      http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/10/12/murder.suicide.study.ap/index.html

      GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- One person commits suicide about every 40
      seconds, one person is murdered every 60 seconds and one person dies in
      armed conflict every 100 seconds, the World Health Organization (WHO) said
      this week.

      Overall, WHO estimated that 1.6 million people met premature and violent
      deaths in 2000.

      The U.N. health agency, in what it described as the most exhaustive
      international study into the problem, examined the extent of violence in
      homes and on streets; the abuse of children and the elderly; suicide; and
      war.

      "The figures for violent death tell only part of the story," report author
      Etienne Krug said. "Physical, sexual and psychological abuse occur in every
      country on a daily basis, undermining the health and well-being of many
      millions of people."

      Krug's team spent three years writing the report, using research from 160
      experts in 170 countries.

      WHO now hopes to help governments mount national prevention campaigns
      focusing on young people.

      The report estimated that 815,000 people killed themselves in 2000 -- making
      suicide the No. 13 cause of death worldwide. People older than 60 were most
      likely to take their own life.

      On average, men were three times more likely to kill themselves than women,
      although in China the rate was about the same for both sexes. About 10
      percent of people who attempt suicide eventually kill themselves, it said.

      The highest suicide rates were in eastern Europe, while the lowest were in
      Latin America. But this masked big differences between rural and urban
      populations and different racial and ethnic groups within countries.

      Among the Inuit people in northern Canada, for example, there were overall
      suicide rates of between 60 and 75 per 100,000 people, compared with 15 per
      100,000 for the general population, it said.

      WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland said she hoped the report would
      break taboos surrounding violence in the home and suicides.

      "To many people, staying out of harm's way is a matter of locking doors and
      windows. To others, escape is not possible. The threat of violence is behind
      those doors," Brundtland said.

      "And for those living the midst of war and conflict, violence permeates
      every aspect of life," she said of the 310,000 people who died in wars.

      The report said an estimated 520,000 people were murdered in 2000 --
      excluding unlawful deaths disguised as accidents or natural causes. For
      every person who died, 20-40 others were hospitalized with injuries.

      The death toll included 199,000 people aged 10-29 who were killed by other
      young people -- often because of alcohol and drug abuse or easy access to
      firearms.

      Youth homicides soared in the United States, many Latin American countries
      and the former Soviet bloc but stabilized or decreased in much of Western
      Europe and Canada, the report said.

      In the United States, black youths are 12 times more likely to be murdered
      than whites.

      Krug said WHO had no plans to lobby countries for stricter gun control laws
      during its violence prevention campaigns.

      "It's not our role," he said.

      An estimated 57,000 young children died from abuse -- often head injuries or
      suffocation, with preschoolers most at risk, the report said.

      Millions more children were the victim of beatings. In South Korea, for
      example, a recent survey said 67 percent of parents admitted whipping their
      children to discipline them, and 45 percent reported hitting, kicking or
      beating them, the report said.

      In 48 surveys from around the world, up to 69 percent of women reported
      being physically or sexually assaulted by an intimate male partner at some
      point in their lives and as many as 20 percent of women were sexually abused
      as children, it said.

      For example, a recent South Africa survey said school teachers were
      responsible for 32 percent of disclosed child rapes.

      WHO also said the abuse of elderly people by relatives and other caregivers
      was "increasingly being recognized as a serious social problem."

      "It is also a problem that may continue to grow as many countries experience
      rapidly aging populations," the report said.

      In some developing countries where women have inferior social status,
      elderly women were at even greater risk for abuse than men. For example,
      they were abandoned or had their property seized after being widowed.

      In Tanzania, an estimated 500 elderly women accused of witchcraft -- often
      connected with an event like crop failure -- were murdered every year, it
      said.

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