Community Violence: Are we our Brother’s Keepers?

By Felicia Browne

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Browne

PRESS RELEASE – Community violence occurs between individuals who are unrelated, and who may or may not know each other, generally taking place outside the home. Community violence is recognized as a major social problem.

Violence depicted on social media posted by individuals and the media reveals a need for educational and intervention programs on conflict resolution and peace education.

Human and Gender Rights advocate, Felicia Browne, observes that violence – directly or indirectly – should have no place in modern society. We are shown through psychological and related studies that victims are permanently scarred by many such attacks.

She adds that perpetrators of community violence are known to attack their victims in public spaces not only to bring about physical harm- but also to publicly humiliate their victim. The video which has been posted online should draw concerns as perpetrators are using social media to further humiliate and bully their victims.

Browne adds that the harm which is created by community violence extends further to innocent bystanders as well. It affects everyone in some way or form. Everyone who has seen the video has reacted with overwhelming disapproval. The adverse reaction to the video reveals the humane conditions of our communities. Everyone can agreed that we should continue to educate for peaceful resolution to whatever problems might be faced.

It should be noted that over 80% of children living in urban areas have witnessed community violence; as many of 70% of them report being victims of this violence. Culture plays a role in the level of community violence to which youth are exposed. Although the direct victims are obvious, its indirect victims are far more numerous. They are affected because they are: bystanders, witnesses or familiar with victims, or are cognizant of or anxious about the potential for violence.

Browne believes that “We live in a civilized society where every human being has the right to live free from violence. However, the use of social networking like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have continued to highlight violence amongst youth- both male and female. This vicious attack on a young female being circulated over social media warrants concern. The attack warrants our personal reflection on how we can easily dismiss a victim if he or she is unknown to us. We must strive to counter the easy option of thinking that this is none of our business.

That type of dismissal should remind us of an old folklore story about a snake in the house. The horse who saw the snake in the house, warned the pig, the chicken, the cow and every other animal – they all declared it was not their business and would not affect them. However the snake bit the owner’s wife who later died. Before the wake, all the animals were killed for the guests. The reality is we ignore the signs – are we not our brother’s keepers?

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