In case you missed it, Dr. Ruth Abaya has joined the City of Philadelphia as Injury Prevention Program Manager in order to build injury prevention program focused on the prevention of injuries and deaths due to gun violence, alcohol, and crashes. Her work will initially focus on the prevention of shootings and firearm homicides by using a public health approach to gun violence prevention. Gun violence today causes nearly 60% of the deaths among young Black men in the city. The full text of her recent OpEd in the Inquirer about the complexities of violence in Philadelphia is below.
They were victims of two tragedies – drug overdoses and homicides – now so prevalent in Philadelphia that they’ve helped drive down life expectancy in the nation’s sixth largest city.
Premature deaths have been increasing since 2015, according to the report released this month by the Philadelphia department of public health. Life expectancy began to fall after 2014, the city says. For men, it was 72.4 in 2017, down from 73.2 in 2013. Women had a longer life expectancy at 79.7, but that number has stopped improving.
By Erin Durkin
Helping young men and women to avoid high risk situations may reduce the likelihood of being a victim, as well as being a perpetrator. This means rethinking how we talk and think about sexual violence to include ways how each and every one of us can take responsibility and accountability for our actions, in that moment, in the weeks after, and in the decades after. Too often the emphasis is on the victim and how they should or should have conducted themselves to avoid the predatory actions of others; rather than giving everyone the tools they need to navigate risky situations and the consequences of their behavior.