Medics Against Violence

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Medics against Violence (MAV) [1] is a Scottish Charity (SC041153) founded in 2008 by three Scottish Surgeons, Christine Goodall, Mark Devlin and David Koppel along with Karyn McCluskey from the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).[2] Our aim is prevention of serious injury and death particularly among the young people of Scotland; we aim to change attitudes to violence in Scotland through education and awareness raising. We have start up funding from the Scottish Government.

MAV has 140 members (doctors, dentists, nurses and paramedics) who take part in our Schools Project which has been running for 3 years. Our members are all volunteers and the majority are senior consultants. We visit 13- to 14-year-old pupils in schools and speak to them about the consequences of violence using a set lesson plan and film but illustrating that with experiences from our wide range of medical specialties. We concentrate on schools in areas of urban deprivation or those with high levels of youth violence and focus particularly on issues around knife crime and gang membership. As of 2011 we have spoken to over 5000 young people in schools in the west of Scotland. A joint initiative launched this year with the VRU sees us train dentists to spot victims of domestic violence and signpost them towards help. We also take part in the VRU project the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV)[3] and in the Scottish Government's project No Knives Better Lives.[4]

MAV is a member of the World Health Organization's Violence Prevention Alliance.[5] We won a Scottish Policing Award in 2009 for our outstanding contribution to Criminal Justice and Tackling Crime[6] and in 2011 won the Public Service Award for Glasgow East in the Community Champion Awards.[7]