African-American Homicide Victimization: Call to Indiana Legislature for Study

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Dear Legislative Council,

We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge the legislative council to select State Rep. Vanessa Summer’s resolution which calls for a summer study on African-American homicide victimization in Indiana.

Listed below are startling facts that support the growing concern regarding African-American homicide victimization in Indiana.

  • According to the Violence Policy Center, Indiana has the second-highest African-American homicide rate in the United States (29.49 per 100,000 deaths).
  • According to the Indiana Violent Death Reporting System (INVDRS), African-Americans are twelve times more likely to be the victim of a homicide than White Americans in Indiana.
  • According to an analysis from researchers at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, homicide is the largest contributor to potential years of life lost among African-Americans.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American males between the ages of 15 and 34 years of age.

Homicides due to violence is an alarming public health concern. Studies have shown that violence has direct and indirect effects on the health of victims, families, and communities. Studies have also indicated that the mere exposure to violence is linked to chronic disease, mental illness, and lower quality of life. Thus, it is imperative that we address this crisis with a public health approach, which involves the implementation of evidence-based initiatives that focus on prevention. A summer study would provide the legislature and constituents insightful information that is needed to effectively address this problem and alarming disparity. The health, well-being, and vitality of our communities must be a priority.

Best Regards, 

Concerned Citizens