01 January 2005

Introduction by Sir Christopher Ball

This is an important and timely report. What it tells us about an epidemic of violence in society today is deeply depressing and sad - and yet the Report also offers a message of hope for a better future. The rising tide of violence in the UK, and elsewhere, is neither inevitable nor universal. Violence is a preventable disease. While it is one that is difficult to cure, prevention is relatively simple. Children who are loved well in infancy do not become violent teenagers or adults. Violence and what to do about it offers specific solutions designed to foster parental attunement to the needs of children, and the development of empathy in children towards the feelings of others.

WAVE's research shows that the recommended interventions make a real and beneficial difference. A society that ignores such findings must be bent on self-destruction. The social costs of violence are some £20 billion a year - and countless damaged lives. This is a social evil that demands attention. This Report says what needs to be done, and who should do it. Read it, reflect on it, and join us in calling for effective action - now.

Sir Christopher Ball
Chairman of WAVE Trust, author of Start Right: the Importance of Early Learning (RSA, 1994)

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