Violence is a contagious disease

Violence is a contagious disease. It meets the definitions of a disease and of being contagious-that is, violence is spread from one person to another. This paper will clarify (1) how violence is like infectious diseases historically by its natural history and by its behavior; (2) how violence specifically fits the basic infectious disease framework-and how we can use this framework to better understand what is known of the pathogenic processes of violence; and (3) how we can provide better guidance to future strategies for reducing violence, in order to get more predictable results, and develop a clearer path to putting violence into the past. This paper intends to clarify to the scientific and policy community, as well as the general public, how violence is acquired and biologically processed, and begins to outline how the spread of violence can be interrupted in short-term emergencies and longer term situations.