Violence in the community or home is a major contributor to poor health. Violent encounters can lead to life-threatening and debilitating injuries, some requiring long-term rehabilitation and care. Not to be overlooked among the burdens of physical trauma is the emotional trauma, which can lead to an increased risk of mental health problems, substance use disorders, and other negative outcomes. More broadly, the legal troubles and incarceration that stem from community violence destabilize families and neighborhoods, creating additional barriers to financial stability, housing, and ultimately, health.
Boston Medical Center is committed not only to treating and minimizing the impact of violence, but also to preventing violence in the first place. As the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England, our providers work 24/7 to save lives and minimize the damage and health consequences of violence. In addition, programs such as the Community Violence Response Team and the Violence Intervention and Advocacy Program bring together multidisciplinary teams of social workers, mental health experts, and case managers who provide counseling to victims and families and empower them through ongoing support with housing, job training, financial assistance, and more. Through these efforts, BMC seeks to disrupt the cycle of violence and build healthier and safer communities.