Injury and Violence Prevention News

Winter 2009-2010
In this issue:
1. Minnesota Summit to Prevent Sexual Violence Draws National Attention
2. Sexual Violence Prevention Program Has Redesigned its Web site
3. New Data on Suicide Rate in Minnesota
4. Top 10 Non-Negotiable Safety Rules

1. Minnesota Summit to Prevent Sexual Violence Draws National Attention
Minnesota hosted the nation’s first statewide sexual violence prevention summit on December 3-4, and the event has earned national attention. Building on Minnesota’s strategic plan for sexual violence prevention, the summit was organized by Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault in partnership with MDH, four other state departments (Education, Corrections, Public Safety and Human Services), and several funders (Bush Foundation, Otto Bremer Foundation and the Mayo Clinic.) The Minnesota summit is being used as a model by other states.

David Lee, who manages Prevention Institute, a national online community, attended and sent this blog to his membership:

Summit attendees included not only the typical people who attend events about sexual violence, but also “unusual suspects” such as faith leaders, philanthropic organizations, athletic group leaders, hotel and restaurant owners, business leaders, artists and elected officials. Together, they the problem of sexual violence, identified ideas to pursue, and made commitments to take action to prevent sexual violence. Data from attendees’ responses is being developed into an action plan.

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2. Sexual Violence Prevention Program Has Redesigned its Web site

Sexual Violence Prevention
The MDH Minnesota Sexual Violence Prevention Program has redesigned and expanded its Web site to provide easily accessible information on current program activities as well as ways people can help prevent sexual violence in Minnesota. The site is enhanced by photos and video clips from recent events. Visitors to the site are encouraged to complete a brief usability survey, found on the home page.

Much of the work of the Program is based on the recently-published state plan, The Promise of Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence: Five Year Plan (PDF:4.3MB/58 pgs).

For more information on current activities of staff and volunteers, see the current issue of Moving Beyond Imagination (PDF:53.57KB/2pgs)

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3. New Data on Suicide Rate in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently provided data to the Star Tribune for a news story on the problem of suicide in Minnesota, which noted a disconcerting trend in the suicide rate.

Minnesota has dealt with high rates of suicides in the past few decades. In 1986, suicides peaked at a rate of 13 people per 100,000 population, and then began to decline, reaching a low of 8.9 people per 100,000 population in 2000. This represents a 32% decline.

Since 2000, the picture has changed; the suicide rate has slowly, but steadily, risen every year. According to preliminary data, 590 people died from suicide in 2008. This is the highest number of suicide deaths in a single year in Minnesota, although when compared with population, it is not the highest rate. The rate in 2008 was about 11 deaths by suicide for every 100,000 Minnesotans.

Although news media gives more attention to homicide, in Minnesota there are now nearly five suicides for every homicide. This compares with a national ratio of less than two suicides for every homicide.

The reason for the increase in suicide rate is not entirely clear. Although there has been speculation about the relationship between the rate of suicide and the recent recession, the increasing trend predated the recession. Suicide has become a growing public health problem and remains a cause for concern.

For more information contact:
Jon Roesler, MS
Injury Epidemiologist

Or visit:

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4. Top 10 Non-Negotiable Safety Rules

Alan Korn, Executive Director and General Counsel for SafeKids USA, presented these Top 10 Non-Negotiable Safety Rules for injury prevention at “Childhood Injury Summit: Charting a Course for Minnesota” in September 2009:

1. Buckle up on every ride.
2. Actively supervise children around water.
3. Wear a helmet when participating in wheeled sports.
4. Recalled products should be removed from the marketplace.
5. Recalled cribs are a high priority.
6. Children should not ride or operate ATVs.
7. Use a personal flotation device (PFD) around open bodies of water.
8. Be mindful of safe pedestrian practices.
9. Install smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and pool fencing in your home.
10. Keep poisonous items, such as medicines and cleaners, locked away and out of reach of children.

For Korn’s full presentation, which also includes results of a national survey of parents’ attitudes on injury, see:
“Perspectives on Preventing Unintentional Injuries Among Children”

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Also see > National Center for Injury Prevention & Control (NCIPC), at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the latest injury prevention news at the national-level.

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Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO BOX 64882
ST PAUL MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5484

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