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What happens to us when it becomes “normal” everyday life to live with high levels of violence? How does it affect our development as individuals, how we raise our children and relate to others in society, our attitudes and actions as citizens, and the ways we are governed?

In this report, Tani Adams describes how living in such conditions affects our lives in myriad and systemic ways. Children fail to flourish; parents are often unable to nurture their children adequately and can turn against them; social relations between individuals and groups become more restricted, polarized, and conflictive; and our role as citizens or participants in the larger community suffers—as do the social support for democracy and the prospects for democratic governance.

The Chronic Violence and Human Development Framework developed by Adams systematizes how chronic violence affects human, social, and civic development. It offers a new lens to help policymakers, social activists, scholars, and affected populations to recognize, understand, and approach a global challenge that is hidden in plain sight and that continues to worsen.

In her report, Adams describes who is affected by this phenomenon; details the five propositions that make up the Framework; explains how this new “lens” differs from prevailing approaches to the violence challenges; and summarizes key implications for public policy, research, and social action.