Violence of all kinds takes a profound toll on our community. The harm takes many forms, from gun violence, intimate partner violence and sexual violence, to youth violence, bullying and elder abuse, leaving behind hurt and trauma. Our community, like so many across the country, has been challenged by increases in rates of gun and community violence during, and in the wake of, the COVID-19 pandemic. And like so many crises, it disproportionately impacts communities of color.
Multnomah County and the cities of Portland and Gresham, alongside numerous partners, together address the risks and impacts of community violence through a continuum of strategies designed to address both the underlying contributors to violence and its downstream impacts. These strategies are organized around the pillars of Prevention, Enforcement, Immediate Responses to Violence and Long-term Strategies.
We draw from a wide range of services and resources, including healthcare and human and social services, youth employment, behavioral healthcare, family support, law enforcement, diversion and re-entry support. These efforts often require coordination and partnership across systems and jurisdictions.
Our work to address violence is most effective when we collaborate with partners, as well as community members from the groups that have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment, disparities and inequity. By working together, we co-create solutions that get to the root causes of violence, heal those who have been hurt by violence, and create a safer and more equitable community for all.