Children Exposed to Violence


Children who are exposed to violence, either by witnessing it or simply being present in homes or communities where violence occurs, are at a greatly increased risk of having negative physical health, mental health, and social outcomes. Children who are exposed to violence are at a greater risk of perpetrating violence or being victimized, experiencing health problems, and encountering emotional and mental health concerns. They may struggle to regulate emotions, have difficulty in school, and can experience damage to cognitive and executive functions. These outcomes may be short-term or may impact individuals well after the violence exposure and throughout their lifetimes.

Fortunately, children are often extremely resilient even in the face of terrible childhood trauma. Since one agency cannot support these children alone, community-wide efforts are crucial to ensure children do not experience the negative outcomes associated with violence exposure. It’s only through coordinating our collective efforts on a community level that we can effectively intervene to support the children and youth who have been exposed to violence.

Community Shield is a community-wide effort involving over 40 partners in the Louisville Metro area. Our goal is to reduce the impacts of all forms of violence on children using the frameworks of secondary prevention and collective impact through shared measurements, progressive trainings, activism, advocacy, and systems-level change.