Hospital Violence Intervention Program

Frontline health care workers in emergency departments are all too often witnesses to the aftermath of shootings, stabbings, and other violence that scars victims and families. Treating victims of trauma caused by violence is one of the most critical tasks performed by first responders and emergency medical personnel. Expanding our reach into communities through initiatives such as a community-based violence intervention program is a crucial step to improving overall public health. 

In June 2021, CHKD’s trauma program received grant funding to develop our Safer Futures program to help children of violence, their families, and the communities where they live. The goal is to break the cycle of violence. Reduce reinjury rate. Strengthen neighborhoods. Give families resources to keep them safe. And help what’s known as “second victims,” – the family members, friends, neighbors, and other witnesses of violence in homes, schools, workplaces, or on the street.

This multidisciplinary program combines the efforts of medical staff with trusted community-based partners to provide safety planning, services, and trauma-informed care to violently injured children and young adults. The program also helps to identify patients at risk of repeat violent injury and connects them with hospital- and community-based resources aimed at addressing underlying risk factors of violence.

About Our Safer Futures Program:

Mission Statement

The Hospital Violence Intervention Program at CHKD seeks to provide comprehensive care to patients who have been violently injured in the Hampton Roads community through advocacy, addressing psychological trauma, individualized service planning, and clinical case management services rendered in the hospital and community settings.

Program Goals

Provide trauma-informed services to address social determinants of health which will promote positive health outcomes and reduce risk for reinjury.

Objectives:

  • Reduce the number of patients who present to CHKD as a result of a violent injury sustained in the community.
  • Address risk-factors for repeat injury.
  • Utilize person-centered planning to connect patients to important resources and services in their community.

Participant Criteria

Participation in Safer Futures is limited to CHKD patients and families who present to our hospital with injuries sustained from an act of violence in the community. These injuries typically include gunshot wounds, stab wounds, and/or injuries from a physical assault. 

Safer Futures In The News

In 2019, CHKD treated 21 children with gunshot wounds and 22 child assault victims. In 2020, those numbers jumped to 37 gunshot victims and 71 assault victims. In 2021, CHKD saw 34 gunshot victims and 50 assaults victims.

Safer Futures Program coordinator Kamron Blue shares more about the Safer Futures program at CHKD and how the program will provide necessary resources to survivors of traumatic injuries and help break the cycle of violence in Hampton Roads in this report from WVEC- 13 News Now.


Did You Know?

  • In 2019, nearly 40,000 Americans were killed by gun violence, more than the number of Americans killed in car crashes.
  • An additional 71,000 Americans suffered nonfatal firearm injuries.
  • Exposure to gun violence can negatively impact a child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. (Children who are exposed to gun violence are at increased risk for developing mental health diagnoses such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety; engaging in substance abuse, and cognitive & developmental delays. These children are also at higher risk for engaging in volatile behaviors in the home, school, and community settings.
  • Other risk factors include socioeconomic disadvantages, poverty, lack of access to adequate medical and mental health services, easy access to firearms in lower socioeconomic communities.