Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm Addressing Disparities in Our Responses to Violence

Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm


Despite growing recognition of the disproportionate rates of young men of color caught up in the criminal justice system, little recognition is given to the fact that young men of color are also more likely to be the victims of crime and violence. This issue brief details the lack of support available to young men of color who experience trauma, as well as potential causes and consequences of this service gap. When we better understand the needs and experiences of these survivors, we are better positioned to provide them with the support they need and deserve.

Key Takeaway

Research indicates that young men of color are disproportionately the victims of crime and violence, but often do not get the help they need. Increased understanding of the causes and impacts of this disparity is needed in order to develop support to end it.

Publication Highlights

  • The media and society over-represent young men of color as aggressors or criminals, fueling a misperception that violence and pain impact young men of color less profoundly than others.

  • Few victim services exist for the kind of crimes young men of color are most likely to experience, such as robbery, or that account for their specific culture and experiences.

  • Due to cultural norms of masculinity and victimization, many young men of color do not identify as “victims,” even when describing experiences of being harmed. 

Key Facts


Crisis Response Services for People with Mental Illnesses or Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

A Review of the Literature on Police-based and Other First Response Models

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) launched Serving Safely in May 2018 as a national initiative to improve police responses to people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). The initiative’s Research and Evaluation Committee developed this literature review as a first step toward creating a research...

  • Leah Pope
October 30, 2019