Violence is a complex, multifactorial entity with no single source of explanation. Although much research is underway into the nature and causes of violence, much of this research is done in isolation and published in highly specialized journals. Thus, there has been no journal review article for the administrator, clinician, or safety officer in health care settings who must address issues of safety on a daily basis. This paper provides that review by examining major cultural, biological, sociological, and psychological theories of violence. The review includes risk management strategies for, and the role of, health care facilities as societal institutions to curb violence. Many of the risk management strategies noted for health care settings may also be fielded in schools, courts, businesses, and other settings in which emergency services personnel are asked to respond.