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American Medical Association Gives Low Grades to Anti-Violence Efforts in America


September 1995

The American Medical Association released a "Report Card" on violence in America, giving the nation especially low grades to drug-related violence:

Overall Grade on Violence


Family Violence

  • Spousal/Partner Abuse
  • Child Physical/Sexual Abuse
  • Elder Abuse
  • Suicide

Sexual Assault

  • Sexual Assault
  • Acquaintance Rape
  • Spousal Rape

Public Violence

  • Gang Violence
  • Gun Violence
  • Civil Violence
  • Drug Violence

Virtual Violence

  • Television Violence
  • Music Violence
  • Film Violence
  • Video Violence
  • Computer and Cyberspace Violence

The AMA used a four-point scale to gauge the nation's progress in handling violence: national trend data, public awareness of violence problems, the effectiveness of intervention programs, and the cost of violence to society. "Despite widespread community efforts and greater awareness of violence, the tide of violent behavior does not show any signs of turning," said AMA President Robert E. McAfee, MD. "It's a 'D' at best."

[In a broadcast on June 15 on the NewsTalk cable channel, Eric Sterling, president of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and coordinator of the National Drug Strategy Network, criticized the AMA as giving out excessively low grades. Sterling pointed out that much current violence data shows improvement, the Department of Justice has developed a comprehensive juvenile delinquency prevention strategy, Congress passed a major crime prevention bill in 1994 and enacted tighter controls on firearms, and the National Drug Control Strategy is placing more emphasis on treating hardcore users in lieu of interdiction.

For more information about the AMA's "Report Card on Violence," contact the AMA at 1101 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, 202-789-7447.]