The World Health Organization (WHO) defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation” (WHO, 2002). WHO further categorizes violence into seven types: child abuse, elder abuse, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, youth violence, collective violence, and self-directed violence.

The workshop was planned by a formally appointed committee of the IOM, whose members created an agenda and identified relevant speakers. Because the topic is large and the field is broad, presentations at this event represent only a sample of the research currently being undertaken. Speakers were chosen to present a global, balanced perspective, but by no means a comprehensive one. Working within the limitations imposed by its time and resource constraints, the planning committee members chose speakers who could provide diverse perspectives on which further discussion could occur. The agenda for this workshop can be found in Appendix A. The speakers’ presentations and the audio recordings of the workshop can also be found on the website for the workshop:


This summary provides an account of the presentations given at the workshop. Opinions expressed within this summary are not those of the IOM, the National Research Council, the Forum on Global Violence Prevention, or their agents, but rather of the presenters themselves. Such statements are the views of the speakers and do not reflect conclusions or recommendations of a formally appointed committee. This summary was authored by designated rapporteurs based on the workshop presentations and discussions and does not represent the views of the institution, nor does it constitute a full or exhaustive overview of the field.

The workshop summary covers the major topics that arose during the 2-day workshop. It is organized by important elements of the infectious disease model so as to present the contagion of violence in a larger context and in a more compelling and comprehensive way. The topics and key points presented in this summary were the most frequent, crosscutting, and essential elements that arose from the various presentations of the workshop, but the choice of these topics does not represent the views of the IOM or a formal consensus process.

The first part of this report consists of four chapters that provide a summary of the workshop: Patterns of Transmission of Violence (Chapter 2), Processes and Mechanisms of the Contagion of Violence (Chapter 3), The Role of Contextual Factors in the Contagion of Violence (Chapter 4),

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