THE BLOG
05/10/2012 12:49 pm ET | Updated Jul 10, 2012

Violence Spreads Like an Infectious Disease

Throughout the history of the world violence has wiped millions of people off the face of the earth just like some of the many diseases or plagues such as small pox, tuberculosis, AIDS, cancer, and diabetes. If one could go back to the beginning of civilization you can clearly see that violence has been around in one form or another. From Ancient Rome to the Iraq War, the toll of violence continues to remind all humans of how sick people can be at times. Some people would argue that violence is necessary in order to control a country or control the people. However, violence only begets more violence and there are no real winners in the world of violence.

Several major cities across the world suffer from high levels of violence and it appears that violence can breakout at anytime or place just like a rash of violence. Countries like Mexico and Brazil and cities like Kingston, Jamaica and Chicago, Ill. suffer from high levels of violence every year. Looking back on how some people have become desensitized to the suffering of other people there is no other category to place violent behavior into other than a public health issue. The atrocities that occurred in Germany during the Holocaust, Genocide in Rwanda, and the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade would make one think that violence is definitely a sickness. To brutalize, kill, rape, experiment, strip people of their culture, and lynch people are all signs of sick behavior. Homicides occur all the time and most people feel like it's the norm and there is nothing that can be done about reducing homicide rates.

One way to look at violence would be to treat violence as a public health issue and work hard on changing the way people think about violence. Changing behaviors is very important because it's hard to change conditions and circumstances. People need help as it relates to unlearning violent behaviors.

If all of the world leaders would come together and focus on educating the masses of the people on how violence is an epidemic that can be reversed the world would be a better place for everyone. The CeaseFire violence interrupters and outreach workers work with the highest risk youth on a regular basis helping to change mindsets and behaviors associated with violent behavior. The CeaseFire model addresses violence as an infectious disease that spreads from one person to another or from one group to another and the only way to disrupt the spreading of the virus of violence would be early detection and interruption with those mostly impacted.

CeaseFire can serve as one of the public health models to help reduce violence across the world. However, everyone has to play a valuable role in stemming the tide of violence that continues to destroy countless lives and entire countries. Young people should be able to grow up without the threat of violence. We need a World Peace Day where all people can talk about peace and unity throughout the world.