What types of harm do boys and young men of color experience?

People may experience harm in different ways. Below is a list of harmful events that could impact young people.


School violence or bullying

These are harmful events that take place in the school environment. They can be verbal or physical. A lot of bullying also occurs through social media.

Community violence

People may be directly hurt by violence in their communities. You may have been jumped or beat up, robbed or had something taken from you by force or shot. You can also be hurt even if you have not experienced violence directly. Seeing violence in your home or in communities can make people feel unsafe or worried about what may happen to you.


Being manipulated or forced in any way to do something you do not want to do for someone else’s financial gain is trafficking. There are different ways that someone can be trafficked. Here are some examples:
• You can be forced to provide sex or perform sex acts for money or other things.
• An adult is forcing you to marry someone else.
• Someone threatened to hurt you if you do not carry drugs from one point to another.
The person who is doing the trafficking can “force you” by using threats against you or your loved ones, physically hurting you or loved ones, or lying to get you to do what they want.

Domestic Violence

This form of violence can occur in a dating or romantic relationship when one person uses violence, threats or other ways to control you. This can happen in same sex relationships or relationships with different gender identities. Domestic violence can also occur within your family. For example, a family member may be hurting others in the family to get their way.

Child Abuse or Neglect

Child abuse happens when someone that is suppose to care for a child hurts a child’s feelings or body. Child abuse can include being hit hard by a hand or other object that can leave a bruise or cut or cause pain. Child sexual abuse is sex acts, talking or sharing sexual photos or sex talk by an adult and someone under 18 or an old teen with a younger child. Neglect is when an adult does not take care of a child by not giving a child food, clothes, seeing a doctor or getting medical care, and other ways that children need to be cared for from an adult.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is always unwanted. It can be verbal or physical. It can be that someone says sexual things to you that you do not want to hear or showing you sexual pictures or movies that you do not want to see. It can be that someone touches you in places that you do not want to be touched. It can also be someone forcing you to do sexual acts.

Hate Crimes

People are sometimes harmed because of how they look or who they are. These are crimes that are based on a person’s skin color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Abdul Thompson, 28, Safehorizon Client

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Learn more about the types of harmful events boys and young men of color may experience.