The power of the partnership between survivor advocates and injury prevention professionals far
exceeds the power of either working alone.


Questions and Answers for Survivor Advocates:

Is there a field of “injury prevention & control”?

Yes. There have been safety experts working in industry for a long time. In the 1960s, Congress created many regulatory agencies to work on safety (for example, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC]; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], Food and Drug Administration [FDA]). In the 1970s, an “injury science” emerged as a distinct interdisciplinary field of research and practice within the public health arena.

Are people paid full time to work on injury prevention?

There are three major employers of salaried people working in the injury prevention field: governments, universities, and non-profit agencies. These employers pay people to work on specific types of injury, depending on the governmental mandate for their department, grants or contracts to explore specific research questions or programs, or mission statements of the non-profit agencies.

How can I find out who is working on my issue?

 The Internet provides access to loads of information about injury prevention. This newsletter provides website addresses specific to the areas of interest of survivor advocates profiled here. If your issue is not among those profiled, the Trauma Foundation website ( or the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control website ( can be used to start your search. Then follow the links, pick up the telephone, call those who appear interested in your issue, get contacts from them. This will be the foundation of your own advocacy network.

What help can salaried injury prevention professionals give me?

These professionals can share their knowledge, expertise and contacts with you. They can help you find and interpret data, brainstorm about strategies to pursue, answer questions about the science and practice of injury control, introduce you to their key contacts who might be interested in helping you, and partner with you in advocating for common goals.

Where can I get money to support me in my work?

This is a very tough question, because money is always tight. You can start your own non-profit agency, so you can accept (but don’t expect) tax-free donations from people or philanthropic foundations. This entails lots of work. It is wise to find an advisor knowledgeable about the pluses and minuses of doing this. You might find an existing non-profit agency or “umbrella organization” willing to serve as your fiscal agent and advisor for your grants.

It may be possible for agencies to contract with you for some specific work, but this is not common. The budgets for most agencies and departments are already committed to existing staff and programs. They may be able to assist you by offering you use of office copy, telephones and fax machines, email and Internet access. Many injury professionals are skilled grant writers (they have to be), and they may share this expertise with you.

Is it easy to work with injury prevention professionals?

It is impossible to generalize here. Most are likely be supportive. However, most have too many projects on their desks and “to-do” lists already. They may not feel able to devote time or energy on your project, even if your issue and their responsibilities appear to match. Find some enthusiastic partners, and figure out ways to collaborate most efficiently and productively.