Violence being considered a health issue has the hopes of better controlling it. In preparing to watch UFC 190 tomorrow which is centered around violence in a competitive way, I think it shows how easily punches can destroy someone. Placing violence as a health issue should only help to control it. Finding out the reason behind violence in any country would be the first step. Health care professionals are able to find the cause of a viral epidemic if it arises, so violence should be able to be targeted too. From the website Cure Violence, they say that violence is a serious health issue because of the magnitude of victims and in many cities violence is the #1 death of people under age 34 (Cure Violence, 2015). Violence has direct effects which would be a physical injury: broken bones, cuts, but it also has non-physical injuries including internal issues and mental issues. For violence to get the attention it needs, it looks as if it needs to be a health issue.
In Nicaragua, violence is present daily. In week two I researched the violence among women and found abuse was very dominant. Wives get abused by their husbands and can be left abandoned because of this. Not only is it adults who face violence, but girls under 17 make up most of the percentage for facing violence. In 2012, Law 779 was adopted in Nicaragua. “Law 779 strengthens the protection of victims and creates an avenue for women to seek justice in such cases of violence against women” (Amnesty International, 2013; El Presidente de la República de Nicaragua, 2013). The idea behind this law is to let women know they have the support to speak up, but for many women they are still in fear to speak up. The original law that came out in 2012 was never enforced to its full potential because of how large the issue of violence is in Nicaragua. In September of 2013, A reform was passed on Law 779 that said article 46, which banned mediation between a woman and the aggressor in cases of violence, is unconstitutional (Herrera, 2013). This means that mediation will be used in minor cases of violence. Supporters of this reform felt it would help keep the family unity together. Personally, I feel it is wrong to make a women who has faced violence have to mediate with her abuser/attacker. Patricia Orozco made a really good point they will make women mediate through the first act of violence, but in reality, when a women reports violence, it is not the first time, it is because she has lived through it before (Herrera, 2013).
From our week one learning, I do see some disconnects with framing violence as a health issue in regards to biomedicine. I know the biomedicine system is directed towards individuals versus the public health system being directed towards the population, but I think it is important to know both sides. We touched on the strengths and weaknesses of biomedicine and the weaknesses pop out at me. First weakness being that we tend to treat conditions with pharmaceutical drugs and these drugs can have negative side effects. In my opinion, violence cannot be treated with a pharmaceutical drug. This is a long-term condition and global problem that needs to be fixed. We cannot just give a victim of abuse some drugs to help her cope psychologically because she could go back home and get beat again. The second weakness of biomedicine is it tends to ignore environmental, political, and social aspects of health. Violence is each one of these problems and needs to have the attention environmentally, politically and socially. But, after listing the weaknesses, biomedicine can heal acute problems and is successful in emergency medicine so even though violence is a public health issue is it being treated the right way?
Intergenerational trauma is present in Nicaragua affecting violence, mental health challenges, infection, and malnutrition. In a study, it was seen a stillborn baby was due to violence when the mother was pregnant. Violence is affecting future generations. Intergenerational trauma reinforces the health systems. By looking at the biomedical system it is clear for it to be successful, there needs to be an adoption of the social aspects of the health problem. The future generations health is at risk because of violence. If a woman is sexually assaulted and becomes pregnant, that baby is now at harm for being abused also. The violence epidemic needs to be stopped and I think biomedicine and the public health system need to adapt some of each others strengths to stop intergenerational trauma.
- Amnesty International. Press Releases, Nicaragua: Authorities should support law protecting women from violence. 3 May, 2013. http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/nicaragua-authorities-should-support-law-protecting-women-violence-2013-05-. Accessed July 31, 2015.
- El Presidente de la República de Nicaragua. Ley No. 779: Ley integral contra la violencia hacia las mujeres y de reformas a la Ley No. 641, “Codigo Penal” 2012. http://www.asomif.org/images/stories/CEDOC/Leyes/ley_779.%20ley%20de%20la%20violencia%20contra%20la%20mujer.pdf. Accessed July 31, 2015.
- Cure Violence. Violence as a Health Issue. 2015. http://cureviolence.org/understand-violence/violence-as-a-health-issue/. Accessed July 31, 2015.
- Herrera, Carmen. Nicaragua: Violence against women is systemic. Latin American Press. 21 November, 2013. http://lapress.org/articles.asp?art=6910. Accessed July 31, 2015.
- Devakumar, Delan. The intergenerational effects of war on the health of children. BMC Medicine. 2 April 2014. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/57. Accessed July 31, 2015.