Youth Violence Interventions

Support Groups for Victims

Anecdotal reports suggest that grass roots efforts like Atlanta’s " Mothers of Murdered Sons" (MOMS) or the Detroit-based "Save Our Sons and Daughters" (SOSAD) may be effective to help grieving parents cope with their loss, mobilize the community and motivate young people to consider the consequences of violence. Youth support groups for the survivors of juvenile violence is another promising idea (e.g., "Kids Alive and Loved"). Preliminary research by Thomas and colleagues suggests that the siblings and friends of homicide victims, as well as the survivors and witnesses of serious interpersonal violence subsequently have serious emotional and psychiatric sequellae. In the absence of help, many young people fall into a cycle of retaliation, revenge, or self-destructive behavior. Victim and survivor programs are worthy of support and careful evaluation.