Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. Working together, we can help create neighborhoods, communities, and a world in which every child can thrive.
Nationally, more than 46 percent of U.S. youth—34 million children under age 18—have had at least one ACE, and more than 20 percent have had at least two. Strategies such as identification and assessments reduce risk and exposure. Programs and activities that nurture resilience and build skills are effective interventions.
The rate of youth gun violence remains at public-health crisis proportions in Richmond and throughout Virginia. Our state’s capital holds the grim title as the locality with the highest rate of gun-related homicides in the state annually in recent years — and black youth statewide remain disproportionately impacted by gun-related violence, according to Virginia Department of Health statistics.
Statewide, African Americans represented 77% of hospitalizations due to nonfatal gun-related assaults in 2017, while 79% of these injuries were suffered by people 15 to 34 years old, regardless of race.
In Richmond, gun violence, which continues to overwhelm centers of poverty in the city’s East End and South Side, rose by 32% in 2019 compared to the previous year, with more than 260 shootings. As of the first week of March, five of seven homicide victims in the city this year were younger than 30. Of the city’s 24 nonfatal shootings in the same period, over half of victims were in this age group, while deadly crossfire is known to strike young children.
Because we know the severe impact trauma has on children's mental, physical and spiritual aspects, everything we do is built using the five principles of the trauma informed care model: Safety, Trustworthiness, Empowerment, Collaboration & Choice.