A Day in the Life: How Exposure to Community Violence Affects Children

A Day in the Life: How Exposure to Community Violence Affects Children
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2019-09-26
Unit 1 Slide Deck: How Exposure to Community Violence Affects Children
Unit 2 Workbook: A Day in the Life, How Exposure to Community Violence Affects Children
Unit 3 Recording: How Exposure to Community Violence Affects Children

Multiple studies supported that violence and trauma have very debilitating effects on children that may persist even through their adulthood. While everyone can try to prevent violence from occurring in our homes and families, community violence still affects and has damaging effects on children.

Andrew Campbell is back on Justice Clearinghouse, this time around to talk about the impact of community violence on children. Andrew is the CEO and Founder of Campbell Research and Consulting. He works on domestic violence and associated risk for its victims – adults, children, and animals. He’s written for different publications including his domestic violence study that analyzed roughly 10,000 DV responder reports that helped quantify the risk of harm/injury in these cases.

Specifics Andrew detailed into on this webinar include:

  • An overview of community violence, its comparison with family violence, and Andrew’s experiences that led him to specialize on the field.
  • Considerations that put children at higher risk of exposure to community violence as economic condition, ethnic/racial background, family set-up, housing, and even the businesses within the community.
  • Understanding the overlap between domestic violence, animal abuse, child abuse, and community violence.
  • The different ways children are affected by community violence.
    • Externalizing behavior that results in aggressive children who act impulsively and with unregulated responses.
    • Internalizing behavior that manifests as psychological and emotional irregularities as in depression, PTSD and desensitization.
    • Brain changes especially for children who are exposed to violence in the first three years of their lives affecting brain size, cognition, learning, and behavior.
    • Lack of hope and future aspirations.
    • The impact of community violence in the school setting as seen in academic performance.
    • Sleeping difficulties and irregularities in the circadian rhythm that disrupts normal cortisol production.
    • Increased time spent indoors than can affect physical and mental health.
    • Complex trauma brought by poly-victimization when violence occurs not just in the community but also at home and with their peers.
    • Animal abuse – either witnessing it or perpetrating it as a result of the exposure to violence.
  • How exposure to violence influence younger and older children.
  • Coping mechanisms that children employ to reverse the effects of community violence.
  • Health outcomes that children exposed to violence may suffer in their adulthood as seen in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).
  • How pets help children cope with violence and trauma.
  • Prevention and intervention efforts to reverse the effects of community violence.
    • The importance of taking a public health approach to addressing community violence that considers more than what’s at the surface of the problem
    • Matching services and resources to the communities that need assistance the most.
    • A collaborative effort of different players – parents, peers, teachers, and the whole community to provide support and protection against violence.
  • Questions from the audience were about:
    • The specific type of housing that puts children at risk due to lack of unity within the community.
    • Risk factors related to children of single fathers or fathers who have not married.
    • How monetary rewards can serve as a preventive measure, albeit short term, for violence.
    • The damage caused by violence in younger children during their development years.
    • How community violence potentially causes higher levels of anxiety in school-age children.


Audience Comments

  • “First-hand experience by the presenter. Excellent presentation!” — Anya
  • “The alarming Statistics. Thank you for offering this very important training.” — Roseann
  • “I was shocked to hear that the trauma that occurs in the first three years of a child’s life will be with them forever. it is very difficult to change that or heal a child from that.” — Becky
  • “I would love to hear more from Mr. Campbell.” — Raylene
  • “Awesome presenter and excellent information!” — Devorra
  • “Really appreciated the tie in on risk and protective factors and how agencies could not only consider the resulting impact on youth and adults but ways to mitigate the damage. The research was fantastic. Great presentation!” — Glenda
  • “It was very helpful that the presenter gave examples and juxtaposed damaging conditions with what to work towards to try to mitigate community violence and its effects.” — Leah
  • “All the information that Andrew Campbell offered in this webinar was valuable. I think that behaviors resulting from children internalizing or externalizing their emotions/feelings resulting from the exposure to violence is good information. The information offered about complex trauma symptomology is useful as well as reiterating the importance of bringing children up in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment. Thank you for this webinar!” — Leslie
  • “Really appreciated the information on animal abuse and on the benefit of animals to traumatized children.” — Mary
  • “The presenter was very engaging, very knowledgeable and like the idea of the break slides. Thanks, Mr. Campbell for your passion!” — Sarah
  • “I think the whole webinar was amazing, I got a lot of new information from it.” — Sam
  • “First, I would like to thank Andrew for his willingness to share his own traumatic history, also that he is so passionate about these issues. I believe that this presentation and others like it are so relevant, especially in today’s world, unfortunately. When you add the lack of safety in schools, as well as the impact on children of the reality that they may not have a viable future because of climate change, the impact of all these stressors becomes so much more relevant and so important to provide help. — Marie



** This webinar has been certified by the National Sheriffs' Association and may be eligible for Continuing Education Units through your POST. Please consult your local certification processes for additional details. Paid subscribers that attend will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Sheriffs' Association logo.
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