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.
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.
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.
Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black males ages 10 to 24.
Young black men were the most likely demographic to be robbed every year, according to data collected over an 11-year period.
92% of all victims of robbery and 91% of victims of assault receive no known assistance from victim service agencies.
An estimated 28 to 45% of victims of violent crime suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition that can cause physical and mental health challenges ranging from cardiovascular and digestive disorders to anxiety and flashbacks.
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