1 in 5 DC Children and Youth Live in City’s Neighborhoods with Highest Rates of Violent Crime

More than 18,000 DC children and youth live in the city’s neighborhoods with the highest rates of violent crime, including more than 5,300 children under the age of five. These neighborhoods have rates of violent crime of 20 or more per 1,000 residents.

More than one-third of these 18,000 children and youth live in the neighborhoods of Douglas/Shipley Terrace and Ivy City/Arboretum/Trinidad/Carver Langston. Most of them are black.

DC children are more likely than DC residents in general to live in high crime neighborhoods. Nearly one in five (18 percent) of all DC children (16 percent of DC children under 5) live in these higher crime neighborhoods, compared to closer to one in 10 (12 percent) of all DC residents.

Why does this matter? Put simply, exposure to violence and violent crime is bad for children.

According to findings from the federally funded National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence, children exposed to violence often suffer from difficulties with attachment, regressive behavior, anxiety and depression and aggression and conduct problems. They may be more prone to dating violence, delinquency, further victimization and involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. In fact, being exposed to violence may impair a child’s capacity for partnering and parenting later in life, continuing the cycle of violence into the next generation.

Where are DC’s other higher crime neighborhoods? Visit our 2012 DC KIDS COUNT e-Databook for an interactive map, plus more information about this and other neighborhood conditions for DC children. And tune in two Fridays from today for another look into our numbers (we will be taking the Friday after Thanksgiving off).

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