Violence is a serious public health problem in the United States. From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life. In 2010, over 16,250 people were victims of homicide and over 38,360 took their own life.
The number of violent deaths tells only part of the story. Many more survive violence and are left with permanent physical and emotional scars. Violence also erodes communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Exposure to violence is a national crisis that affects approximately two out of every three of our children. Of the 76 million children currently residing in the United States, an estimated 46 million can expect to have their lives touched by violence, crime, abuse, and psychological trauma this year. In 1979, U.S. Surgeon General Julius B. Richmond declared violence a public health crisis of the highest priority, and yet 33 years later that crisis remains. Whether the violence occurs in children’s homes, neighborhoods, schools, playgrounds or playing fields, locker rooms, places of worship, shelters, streets, or in juvenile detention centers, the exposure of children to violence is a uniquely traumatic experience that has the potential to profoundly derail the child’s security, health, happiness, and ability to grow and learn — with effects lasting well into adulthood. Source: The Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.