State By State Advocacy

Each year, more than 57,000 Americans die violent deaths. In 2010, suicide and homicide were the second and third leading causes of death for people ages 15-34.  Women are killed in domestic violence disputes.  Children die from abuse and neglect.  Teens are killed in gang violence.  And, on average, 80 people take their own lives every day.

The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is a comprehensive, linked reporting system that collects and centralizes information on homicides and suicides from a variety of sources, such as medical examiners and coroners, law enforcement, hospitals, public health officials and crime labs. Information from NVDRS provides a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding violent deaths and helps officials and organizations put into place effective prevention policies and programs.

Before NVDRS was created, federal and state public health and law enforcement officials collected valuable information about violent deaths, but didn’t combine it into one comprehensive reporting system.  Instead, data was held in a variety of different systems, and policy-makers lacked the clear picture necessary to develop effective violence prevention policies.

NVDRS is now able to capture data that is critical to identifying patterns and developing strategies to save lives. With a more complete picture of why violent deaths occur law enforcement and public health officials can work together more effectively to identify those at risk and provide effective preventive services.

Housed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NVDRS is on its way to fulfilling that promise. Thanks to steady funding and a growing coalition of supporters, the momentum behind NVDRS is stronger than ever.