It is no secret that cities around the country have become war zones with death rates on some days literally comparable to war.
Cities like Chicago have even been nicknamed Chiraq because of all the violence that takes place.
It is important not only to frame this as a social issue, but to also analyze the residual impacts of youth violence, especially when it relates to the overall health of Black Youth.
“There are children who wake up to living conditions that are less than desirable. Perhaps they live in a house where domestic turmoil is prevalent, or maybe their exposures to criminal and violent acts occur outside of the home. But the fact remains, if any of the aforementioned conditions are true, for any child, there is a very real possibility of the child, much like the soldier, developing various symptoms as a result of the trauma — PTSD.”
Up until now, our society has dealt with the issue of youth violence primarily by taking punitive actions, whether the punishment is handed out at home, school or by the criminal justice system. But I believe it’s time we abandon a solely reactionary response to this youth violence epidemic and start to deal with this proactively.
Viewing youth violence from a public health perspective allows trained professionals to treat the root causes of the violence — traumas — rather than simply punishing the violent acts that stem from them.
Thoughts on the important link between emotional health and violence?
How can we ensure that resources are available to meet the emotional needs of our youth?
Sound off below!