Improving Supports for Youth of Color Traumatized by Violence

by Rhonda Bryant; Robert Phillips

Dec 4, 2013

Many boys and young men of color live in communities where violence occurs too often and has a significant impact on their lives. This report examines the problem, offers strategies for various youth systems, and provides examples of approaches with strong outcomes for working with males of color who have witnessed or experienced violence.
  • Ongoing exposure to violence impairs child and youth development, family functioning, community health, and social and emotional well-being.
  • Neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage are more likely to see violence, and children of color are more likely to live in these communities.
  • School, employment, and social service systems, among others, have the power to ameliorate or exacerbate the effects of trauma in the lives of youth and must be more aware of its manifestation in the lives of boys and men of color.
  • Timely access to health services and increased communication between systems are important in meeting the needs of youth affected by violence.