Community Violence

Community violence refers to acts of violence within a community or neighborhood. It may happen between strangers or people who know each other, but it generally occurs in public places.

Community violence impacts both the physical and mental health of individuals, as well as the overall safety and stability of a community.

Three sticky notes all have arrows pointing to a fourth sticky note to show causation. The three causal sticky notes say: lack of access to quality education, housing insecurity, and lack of access to healthcare. The effect sticky note says community violence.

Effective community violence intervention efforts focus on preventing violence before it occurs, and that requires addressing the underlying issues that contribute to violence.

Factors such as poverty, housing insecurity, and lack of access to quality education and healthcare are linked to the level of violence in our communities. Addressing the structural racism — and the associated severe lack of resources — that gave rise to these quality-of-life disparities is essential to reducing violence.

These efforts should be tailored to a community‚Äôs specific needs and concerns; there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing community violence. 

Additionally, it is important to involve community members in the planning and implementation of these efforts. This ensures that each program addresses the needs of the community. Offices of violence prevention at both the state and local levels can partner with community members and local organizations.  

There is a growing body of research showing the effectiveness of community violence intervention (CVI) programs. Because of this and increased federal funding, community violence intervention programs are becoming more common.