Attention is increasingly being paid to the disparities young men of color face in our society, including their disproportionate involvement in the criminal justice system as those responsible for crime. Little recognition, however, is given to the fact that young men of color are also disproportionately victims of crime and violence. This issue brief aims to raise awareness of this large but often overlooked group of victims, and 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.