Letter: Watch film, discuss violence prevention

On Friday, the University of Iowa College of Public Health along with several co-sponsors will offer a free public screening of the documentary film “Newtown” at the Englert Theatre, at 6 p.m.

The film chronicles the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which remains one of the deadliest in American history. The film, on a national engagement tour, provides an occasion for communities to discuss the burden of violence on affected individuals as well as our communities.

Following the film, a panel of experts from law enforcement, threat assessment, and school administration will discuss the film and opportunities to prevent violent incidents from occurring.

With growing national attention on mass shootings, we tend to focus on their frequency, severity and aftermath. In the tradition of public health’s focus on prevention, our panel will instead turn our thoughts to what we as a community — individuals, families, organizations, and businesses — can do to prevent violence. A number of proven strategies have been identified, such as activities that bring communities together to address the root causes of violence, programs to identify potentially threatening situations early and de-escalate them, activities that contribute to safe environments, and building community resilience. For these approaches to work, the community needs to prioritize a culture of safety and prevention.

We hope that you will join us to watch the film and discuss violence prevention with our panel of experts. For more information, please visit cph.uiowa.edu/newtown.

Corinne Peek-Asa

Director, UI Injury Prevention Research Center

Sue Curry

Dean, UI College of Public Health

Iowa City


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