A Survey Of Violent Death Worldwide
- NHNE News List
Current Members: 719
Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.
STUDY SURVEYS VIOLENT DEATH WORLDWIDE
Saturday, October 12, 2002
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
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
"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
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
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
NHNE News List:
To subscribe, send a message to:
To unsubscribe, send a message to:
To review current posts:
Published by NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
NHNE Website: http://www.nhne.com/
Phone: (928) 282-6120
Fax: (815) 346-1492
Appreciate what we are doing?
You can say so with a tax-deductible donation:
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339