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


Evaluation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project

Assessing the Impact of Legal Representation on Family and Community Unity

This study evaluates the impact of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP). NYIFUP is the nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation—defined as those in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Funded by the New York City Council since July 2014, the program provides a free attorney to almost all de...

  • Jennifer Stave, Peter Markowitz, Karen Berberich, Tammy Cho, Danny Dubbaneh, Laura Simich, Nina Siulc, Noelle Smart
November 09, 2017

Sexual Victimization of Men with Disabilities and Deaf Men

A National Snapshot

Men with disabilities experience victimization, including sexual violence,  at rates higher than their counterparts without disabilities. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), Vera launched a project to explore these issues. This brief presents the project findings. It gives an overview of the ...

  • Allison Hastings, Sandra Harrell
October 31, 2017