Steven Brown, Psy.D.-Klingberg Family Centers Director of the Traumatic Stress Institute recently presented at the 3rd Annual Peace It Up Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference on September 18, 2009. The conference was sponsored by Communities Empowering Youth (CEY), which is a partnership initiative of Capital Workforce Partners & the Hartford Office for Youth Services. It was intended to bring together the many audiences that must be part of crafting solutions to the problem of youth violence: community providers, funders, youth, the faith community, workforce, policy makers and legislators. “Peace It Up!” aimed to open our thinking about the issue of youth violence in our community by bringing a number of best practice models and approaches that have worked in different communities. While we can be informed by the successes of other communities, we know that we all must be involved in a solution that is uniquely “Hartford” in its approach.
Dr. Brown’s presentation was entitled: Hurt People…Hurt People: Connecting Trauma and Youth Violence. Evidence shows that the vast majority of youth involved in violence have personal histories of trauma themselves including witnessing violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Many come from families where trauma is multi-generational. This workshop offered a framework for understanding the impact of trauma on young people. It also addressed the cumulative impact on the helper of working with traumatized youth.