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the effect of violent attacks by schizophrenic persons on the attitude of the public towards the mentally ill

Increasing recognition is being given to the public health burden of violence (1) . Every year, over half a million people die from interpersonal violence, nearly double that from armed conflict (2) . It is the sixth leading cause of death among people ages 15–44 (3) . In addition, many more people survive acts of violence than die from them and suffer physical injury and psychological consequences. Consequently, violence is estimated to be among the 20 leading causes of disability-adjusted life years worldwide (4) , and its contribution to worldwide disability is projected to increase in the next two decades (5) . Evidence suggests that among the potentially modifiable risk factors for violent crime is severe mental illness. Studies of birth cohorts in Scandinavia (6 – 8) and New Zealand (9) , psychiatric case registers in Australia (10 – 12) and the United Kingdom(13) , and discharged psychiatric patients in the United States (14) have indicated that psychoses are modest risk factors for violent offending. This research has estimated that the risk of an individual with psychosis committing a violent offense compared with a general population group of a similar age is between two and six times for men and two and eight times for women.