Moving Toward Healing: Trauma and Violence and Boys and Young Men of Color

by John Rich

Sep 1, 2016

The purpose of this brief is to highlight the great burden that trauma, violence, adversity, and the social determinants  of health impose on the health of boys and men of color. To protect BYMOC from the potential harm inflicted on  them—and to mobilize the resilience and promise these young people hold—providers, leaders and policymakers  must understand the physical, emotional and societal effects of trauma, violence, and adversity. They must also recognize the implicit and explicit racism and stigma faced by BYMOC. Only with this understanding can leaders effect the fundamental transformation to ensure that BYMOC heal, thrive, and realize their fullest potential.

  • Despite the tendency to focus on homicide as the prime indicator of violence, it is only the tip of the iceberg. The CDC has estimated that for every homicide there are 94 nonfatal violent injuries.
  • Black males suffer more than three times as many nonfatal injuries at the hands of the police than white males.
  • Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that black males between the ages of 10 and 25 suffer more than five times as many police-related nonfatal assaults as white males of the same age.
  • More than 40% of victims who have suffered a penetrating injury are shot or stabbed again within five years of initial injury. Of these victims, many of whom are young men of color, 20% are dead in five years.