Violence is a preventable disease that has long term effects on health. In the United States, violence has become an epidemic that disproportionately affects the African American community. Risk factors that contribute to the perpetration of youth violence include a combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors. Individual risk factors include a personal history of victimization of violence, high emotional stress, and exposure to violence and conflict. Family risk factors include low parental education, low income, poor family functioning and low parental involvement. Community risk factors include diminished economic opportunities, high concentration of poor residents, and socially disorganized neighborhoods – all of which are prevalent in communities with high rates of violence. Preventive strategies aimed at reducing violence need to be collaborative and community based. This multi-city project, A Prescription of Hope, aims to educate community members from Illinois and Missouri on the long- term effects of exposure to violence. The target population for Missouri is Ferguson, a small community with an approximate population of 21,035 (2017); however, it is recognized nationally for the demonstrations and unrest that erupted after the August 9, 2014 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Worldwide, an estimated 200,000 homicides occur each year among youth aged 10–29 years, accounting for 43% of all homicide annually.
Part of the book: Leading Community Based Changes in the Culture of Health in the US