Safe Communities and Violence Prevention

Violence affects all aspects of life and results in considerable physical, emotional, social, and economic consequences. The statistics are hard to ignore:

  • In 2010, more than 16,250 people were victims of homicide and more than 38,360 took their own life.1
  • Homicide continues to be the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24.2
  • In 2011, more than 700,000 young people aged 10–24 years were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained due to violence.3
  • Gun violence is a significant component of violence in the United States. In 2010, guns took the lives of more than 31, 000 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings4 and firearm homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans ages 1-44.5

But the effects of violence cannot be measured by statistics alone. The cost is felt in loved ones lost, dreams unfulfilled and families destroyed. This senseless violence cuts short the lives of young people who will never reach their full potential. In communities of color the consequences of violence are even greater.

This violence erodes communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.6 It has negative consequences on the economic security, civic well-being and educational attainment of community members. Safe communities are those where lives are not interrupted by senseless violence.

How is the Council involved?

The Council wants to bring more foundations and funders into this work, building on efforts that are already underway, and to raise awareness that safety and freedom from violence is a precondition for much of the work funders already do to be successful. Our intention is that this project will lead to the development of collaborative partnerships that can create lasting change. These collaborative partnerships can be among funders and also between the philanthropic, private, nonprofit and public sectors. Council activities will focus on sharing information about safe community/community violence prevention practices and the wide range of roles that the philanthropic sector can play.

In 2013, the Council:

  • Conducted a plenary session and several concurrent sessions focused on Safe Communities and Community Violence Prevention at its Annual Conference and Fall Conference for Community Foundations
  • Connected with many members actively engaged in this work
  • Built relationships with thought leaders and organizations outside of philanthropy working in the violence prevention field
  • Aggregated resources on the many aspects of violence prevention

How can you get involved?

  • E-mail us and share the story of what your organization is doing to reduce community violence
  • Submit a post on the RE:Philanthropy blog about your organization’s violence prevention work
  • Send us ideas about additional resources and connections for this page
  • Submit an idea for an upcoming Council conference session on safe communities/community violence prevention

Resources

Access the violence prevention resources on our site.


1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/index.html

2 Center for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pub/YV_ProtectiveFactors.html

3 Center for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/stats_at-a_glance/index.html Accessed 8.5.13

4 Nat’l Ctr. for Injury Prevention & Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Web-Based Injury Statistics Query & Reporting System (WISQARS) Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2010, for National, Regional, and States (Dec. 2012), http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/dataRestriction_inj.html (hereinafter WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2010. Note: Users must agree to data use restrictions on the CDC site prior to accessing data).

5 Nat’l Ctr. for Injury Prevention & Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Web-Based Injury Statistics Query & Reporting System (WISQARS) Leading Causes of Death Reports, 1999-2009, for National, Regional, and States (RESTRICTED), at http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/dataRestriction_lcd.html (last visited Mar. 8, 2012) (hereinafter WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, 1999-2009; Note: Users must agree to data use restrictions on the CDC site prior to accessing data).

6 Center for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/index.html