From the Editor
This ANS issue topic comes at a defining moment in world history. The United States is preparing for a presidential election that holds the possibility of shifting the ways in which this nation addresses conflict. It is clear that most of the US populace now recognizes that the aggression waged against Iraq was not only ill-advised but also wrong. The challenge now before this world power is finding a course of action that is best for all parties concerned. A large proportion of the world population wants simply to end the violence now. The solution could be as simple as that, but probably it is not.
Violence begins at home, where in virtually all cultures in the world people learn at an early age how to deal with conflict and differences in violent and hurtful ways. Skills required to make peace, prevent violence, or respond to violence in nonviolent ways are all too rarely engrained in day-to-day experience. These are skills that not only are more difficult to learn but are also exceedingly difficult to practice.
There is a growing recognition of the connection between violence in homes, schools, and workplaces, and violent conflict between gangs, tribes, nations, and all other forms of social organization. Many projects, many with an important presence on the World Wide Web, have been put into practice to intervene with domestic violence and to teach children and youth alternatives to violence and positive responses to violence. Many of these projects are developed as a result of the excellent research completed in recent years by scholars in many disciplines. Yet it remains to be seen whether these projects will eventually bring us to a place as a global society where nonviolent approaches will prevail.
This issue of ANS stands as a testament to the excellent contributions being made by nurse scholars in the area of violence. The articles in this issue address violence on every social level—in the home, at work, school, and between nations. I believe that the articles published in this issue of ANS will have a wide influence within nursing and beyond. Like the early work of nurse scholars such as Ann Burgess and Jacqueline Campbell, nurses continue to make substantial contributions that can change the “story” where violence is concerned in our homes and beyond.
There are lessons to be learned from each of the articles in this issue that every reader can literally take “home.” Among these are the vital steps that I believe to be some of our most important challenges in nursing today: learning to recognize the very real problem of horizontal violence within nursing, learning ways to intervene, responding, and preventing this disease that affects each and every nurse.
Peggy L. Chinn, PhD, RN, FAAN