Violence and the Public’s Health: Building a Safer, Healthier New Orleans
Public safety plays a critical role in the health and well-being of New Orleans residents. Violence has devastating impacts on the physical and mental health of New Orleanians. Violence leads to the loss of life and is a leading cause of injury and disability. Victims who survive violence may live for years with physical and emotional scars.
Young people especially suffer from the consequences of violence. Many youth feel unsafe or live in fear due to exposure to violence or the trauma of losing a family member or friend. Law enforcement is taking significant, proactive steps to reduce violence in our community but we know we cannot arrest our way out of this problem.
To support law enforcement and maximize the success of public safety efforts, the New Orleans Health Department is using an approach that focuses on the public health principles of prevention, population science, and data-driven decision making.
The public health approach seeks to prevent violence before it occurs. Viewing violence through a public health lens also means working with partners across the community to find solutions and take action on the causes and factors influencing the level of violence in New Orleans. We are collecting data to identify the characteristics that put individuals at risk for violence or protect individuals from violence. The facts we learn inform the implementation of strategies to make our community safer and healthier.
At its heart, public health is about prevention and partnership. We know that together, we can all help build a safer, healthier New Orleans.
Learn more about the public health approach to violence prevention.