In 2012, the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) conducted a study where the case histories of a total of 100 young men were examined to attempt to understand drivers of youth violence. From these young men, 30% had their first violent experience before the age of 12, whether as a victim or witness.
When later looking at Worcester’s police database of men under the age of 27, 20% of them had their first violent experience before the age of 12. Those young men became 49% more likely to be victims or perpetrators of violence as teenagers or young adults than those who had no early exposure to violence. Studies show that early childhood trauma has many psychological effects on a child and is a driver of youth and gang violence.
Our mission is to connect families with children under the age of ten who have been exposed to violence and other forms of trauma (e.g. opioid addiction) to culturally competent, evidence-based, trauma-informed interventions.