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Homicides are 3rd leading cause of death for males aged 15-44

Geneva, Dec 10 (EFE).- The World Health Organization, WHO, released a report Wednesday stating that 475,000 people were murdered in the entire world in 2012, and identifying homicide as the third leading cause of death for males aged 15-44.

The report, with the title “Global status report on violence prevention 2014,” was issued on Wednesday jointly by the WHO and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The document also shows some harrowing statistics on world violence.

According to the report, one in four children has been physically abused; one in five girls has been sexually abused.

One in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual violence by her intimate partner at some point in her lifetime.

Although the numbers may be bleak, the situation has actually improved over the last decade, with a 16-percent decrease in the homicide rate between 2000 and 2012.

“The consequences of violence on families and communities are deep rooted, and can result in lifelong ill health for those affected,” states Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.

“Yet we know what works to prevent violence in our homes, schools and workplaces and on our streets and playgrounds”, she said.

“We should take inspiration from governments that have demonstrated success in reducing violence by taking the steps needed. They have shown us that violence is indeed preventable,” the WHO Director-General added.

Chan explained that violence is one of the factors that can lead to the development of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, because victims are at an increased risk of adopting behaviors such as smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, and unsafe sex.

Only one-third of the 133 countries surveyed are implementing large-scale initiatives to prevent violence, such as bullying prevention programs and visits by nurses to at-risk families.

The report also takes note of the fact that fewer than one-quarter of the world’s countries are developing public information campaigns to prevent abuse of the elderly.