Addressing the Global Burden of Violence Against Children
More than 1 billion children-half of all children in the world-are exposed to violence every year. The violence children are exposed to includes both direct experiences of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as indirectly witnessing violence in their homes, schools, and communities. What these various forms of violence share is their enduring potential for life-long consequences. These consequences include increases in the risks of injury, HIV and other infectious diseases, mental health problems, and non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes. Studies addressing biologic underpinnings of such consequences demonstrate that violence-associated toxic stress may cause damage to the nervous, endocrine, circulatory, musculo-skeletal, reproductive, respiratory, and immune systems. The presentation will share information about CDC's role in addressing the burden of violence and lessening its impact, with particular emphasis on the global Violence Against Children Surveys (www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/vacs/), which have been conducted or are planned in 22 countries around the world. This presentation will share data from VACS on patterns in the nature, characteristics, and consequences of violence against children around the world.
Dr. Greta Massetti is a Senior Scientist in the Division of Violence Prevention at the CDC, where she leads the division's efforts to address the global burden of violence against children. Dr. Massetti leads a global partnership to use science and evidence-based strategies to end all forms of violence against children. Dr. Massetti serves as the lead for the global Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS; https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/vacs/) to determine the magnitude and nature of violence against children in multiple countries. Dr. Massetti leads CDC's work with global partners (including the WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, USAID, PEPFAR and others) to increase the availability of scientific data on the topics of violence against children, gender-based violence, and related health consequences, and to support governments in designing and implementing program and policy strategies to end violence against children and gender-based violence.
Dr. Massetti has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook, and she completed her psychology residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She was on the faculty of the Department of Psychology at SUNY at Buffalo before joining CDC in 2007. Dr. Massetti has conducted research on the prevention of youth violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and violence against children, and the health consequences that result from violence.
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