Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm: Addressing Disparities in our Responses to Violence

by Danielle Sered

Dec 16, 2014

Attention is increasingly being paid to the disparities young men of color face in our society, but little recognition is given to the fact that they are disproportionately victims of crime and violence. This issue brief aims to raise awareness of this large but often overlooked group of victims and to help foster efforts – both local and nationwide – to provide them with the compassionate support and services they need and deserve.
  • The trauma of surviving an act of violence can carry lasting impacts and affect a wide array of domains: health, employment, education, and safety, as well as local and national social service systems.
  • Young men of color who have been victims of crime and violence often do not get the help they need: They are less likely to seek and receive support and more likely to live with unaddressed symptoms of trauma.
  • Barriers that prevent young men of color from accessing victim services include social norms that make it less likely that they will identify themselves as "victims" or be seen as such in our culture, distrust of the justice system based on negative experiences, and a lack of resources in communities to develop effective services.
  • Vera's Common Justice is developing a learning collaborative for people and organizations working with young men of color who have been harmed by violence. The goal of the collaborative is to develop strategies and responses and to build a field that advances equity, dignity, and healing from harm.