but also demands, in the minds of public health practitioners, a preventive response (Police Foundation, 1976).

Third, because many of the cases involve families and violence within families seems to affect the development of the children, the public health community has a special interest in trying to end that violence. Only in this way can a continuing cycle of violence be broken (Dubowitz, 1987).

Fourth, these cases often involve other contributing causes such as alcohol or drug abuse, acute stress, or other forms of mental illness. Consequently, a therapeutic response often seems more promising at the outset than a criminal justice system response.

Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, these cases of psychological and physical violence are more visible to health agencies than to criminal justice agencies. The reasons are that the victims of such offenses are less likely to call criminal justice agencies than they are to appear in doctors' offices and emergency rooms. Moreover, the difficulties of investigating and prosecuting these cases have discouraged many criminal justice officials from doing so even when they have learned of the crimes (Berk et al., 1980, 1982).

Thus, in thinking about "intentional violence" the public health community tends to look beyond those offenses that cause physical injury and to look at offenses that cause psychological injury as well. Also, members of the public health community have special concerns for offenses that occur in the context of ongoing relationships—perhaps because it is in that context that the threat of violence or neglect carries a particularly heavy psychological burden, and perhaps because there is a special opportunity for the public health community to make a contribution to these neglected offenses.


Viewed from both criminal justice and public health perspectives then, a much wider and deeper understanding can be obtained of what the society has at stake in instances of criminal violence and of what constitutes events that are worth calling by that name. The criminal justice community's vision of violent crimes committed by dangerous offenders is enlarged by concern for the victim, for psychological damage, and for the special problems created by crimes that occur in the context of ongoing relationships. The public health community's vision is enlarged by

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