It has become very difficult to overlook the level of violence here in Tuscaloosa. All this negative activity has a clear impact upon the entire county, especially, the youth who perhaps have been exposed to it. Exposure to violent situations can create trauma, therefore having a negative impact and multiple factors such as development, academic functioning, coping skills and relationships. Children are not only finding themselves exposed to violence in their communities at a much higher rate, but also through technology. Social media has increased access to violent content online, that research studies have revealed, increases violent behavior.
Research indicates that youth become more aggressive because of this violent environment. They have more access to weapons and are more likely to carry weapons. Unfortunately, for some youth there is no choice, but necessary for mere survival, which leads to involvement in the juvenile justice system. Statistics from the National Center for Mental Heath and Juvenile Justice indicates that some 75 percent of court-involved youth have had trauma.
Children as well as adolescents do not have to be victims of violence to experience trauma. This trauma can have its origin from multiple sources, for example exposure to gang activity, witnessing a shooting or other violent crimes or the death of a friend or family member.