Children`s Exposure to Community Violence

Childrens exposure to community violence is a major public health concern. It is defined as exposure to physical or psychological harm, or the threat of harm, resulting from direct or indirect involvement in violent acts. It includes witnessing, hearing, or being exposed to violent acts, such as physical or sexual assault, gang violence, bullying, or other forms of violence. Children who are exposed to community violence are at risk for a variety of physical, psychological, and emotional health problems. These can include physical injuries, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. They may also experience difficulty in school, have difficulty forming relationships, and engage in risky behaviors. The impact of community violence on children can be longlasting and farreaching. It can lead to a decreased sense of safety and security, as well as a heightened sense of fear and mistrust. It can also lead to a decreased sense of belonging and connectedness, which can result in a feeling of isolation. There are a number of strategies that can help protect children from the negative effects of community violence. These include providing support and resources for children, engaging in positive communication and problemsolving, and teaching children about safety and selfprotection. It is also important to create safe and supportive environments for children, such as schools and community centers. Childrens exposure to community violence can have a significant impact on their lives. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of exposure to violence, and to provide resources and support to help children cope with the effects.
1. I have heard guns being shot.
2. I have seen somebody arrested.
3. I have seen drug deals.
4. I have seen someone being beaten up.
5. My house has been broken into.
6. I have seen somebody get stabbed.
7. I have seen somebody get shot.
8. I have seen a gun in my home.
9. I have seen alcohol such as beer‚ wine‚ or hard liquor in my home.
10. I have seen gangs in my neighborhood.
11. I have seen somebody pull a gun on another person.
12. I have seen someone in my home get shot or stabbed.
  • Violence
This instrument can be found on pages 321-332 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at:
Point values are assigned as follows:
Never = 1
Once or twice = 2
A few times = 3
Many times = 4
Point values are summed and then divided by the total number of items. Intended range is 1-4‚ with a higher score indicating more frequent exposure to acts of crime and violence.

Richters JE‚ Martinez P. Things I Have Seen and Heard: a structured interview for assessing youth children’s violence exposure. Rockville‚ MD: National Institute of Mental Health‚ 1990.