Violence Prevention Charter
The Violence Prevention Charter (VPC) is an official document intended to recognize the commitment of Canadian citizens to the creation of a Canada “Free of Violence”. The Charter outlines our purpose, current situation, vision and signatory commitments. It is a shared enterprise whereby, individuals, organizations, communities, and governments at all levels can engage in committing to and building a safer and more prosperous Canada.
A Violence Prevention Charter will:
- Guide Policy, Programs and Action.
- Represent Canadians’ common vision for healthy and safe communities free of violence.
- Provide a vision and set of principles that will inspire and support all levels of government, businesses, non-profit organizations, communities, families and individuals to take steps to make Canada a leader in violence prevention.
Violence as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is ”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."
Evidence shows that violence has considerable social and economic consequences. A 2011 report estimated that the financial burden incurred by taxpayers annually is in excess of $99.6 billion. There are several types of violence and they are recognized by the WHO under the following categories: Interpersonal; Collective and Self-Directed. The latter includes self harm and suicide. The WHO “Violence Prevention through Public Health: The Ecological Model” stresses the multiple risk factors at the individual, relationship, community and societal levels and serves as a framework for evidence-based intervention. Prevention of Violence Canada is seeking to implement the recommendations of the World Report on Violence and Health, specifically:
- Foster national action to prevent violence guided by a strategic plan for Canada.
- Garner practical support for public health approaches to violence prevention by all orders of government and in partnership with civil society.
- Encourage sustained investment in programs that work to prevent violence.
- Promote the use of appropriate data and research.
- Promote social and gender equality and equity
- Strengthen victim support and care services
A Canada Free of Violence is rooted in healthy families and communities:
- Where children develop their potential surrounded by loving families, caregivers, and communities
- Where people can live, work and play in safe neighbourhoods and communities ,
- Where Canadians live free of intentional injury throughout the lifespan; from preconception and prenatal periods, thru to childhood, youth, and adulthood
- A Canada free of violence is a cornerstone for a world free of violence. Begin it now with this declaration.