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Jonetta Rose Barras: When Will DC Treat Community Violence Like a Public Health Emergency?

February 14, 2019

Photo of Mayor Bowser at a press conference.

Jonetta Rose Barras has been focused on childhood trauma in DC and its effect on the city for the past few years. In a new piece for the DCLine, she examines Attorney General Karl Racine’s new Cure The Streets program, where civilian “violence interrupters” walk their local blocks in the city and attempt to mediate potentially violent conflicts. Rose compares this approach to more trauma-based approaches, and she spoke with CLC executive director Judith Sandalow about the importance of understanding childhood trauma.

Trauma in the District has reached a crisis level, with nearly 50 percent of children having suffered two or more adverse childhood experiences, according to the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. Adults are also exhibiting signs of unresolved trauma. Advocates have pushed for proactive solutions. “We have to move upstream and begin to stop some of these problems,” said Judith Sandalow, executive director of the Children’s Law Center in DC.

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