There is an increasing awareness of physical and sexual abuse against women and children. However, standardization of research is needed in order to facilitate comparison among studies on abuse. Most of the research has focused on prevalence, incidence and causes of domestic violence, family violence, and physical and sexual abuse. There is also a need to evaluate the effect of different intervention programmes. It is important that the education system, the health sector and the judicial system are motivated to recognize that they have not only the opportunity, but also the responsibility to take action against physical and sexual abuse. A multidisciplinary and multiagency perspective is needed in approaching this issue. All of us, especially educators and clinicians, are in a position to address abuse, and ultimately to reduce violence in our society. Abuse is everyone's business.
Department of Public Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Correspondence to Lena Widding Hedin, Department of Public Health, Division of Occupational Medicine, University of Bergen, Ulriksdal 8 C, N-5009 Bergen, Norway. Tel: +47 5558 6724; fax: +47 5558 6105; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbreviations FGM: female genital mutilation PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder STD: sexually transmitted disease