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Community violence, particularly homicide, occurs primarily in public settings. It is interpersonal, i.e. taking place between individuals and small groups that may or may not know one another. It is loosely planned at best and generally impulsive in nature.


That said, the impact of community violence is nevertheless severe, often resulting in death or disabling injury. Its perpetrators and victims are usually, but not exclusively, young men and boys from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. Community violence may result from disputes or from conventional forms of street crime, e.g. robberies, and implicates both the public health and public safety fields as well as multi-disciplinary, multi-sector responses.

Focused Interruption ArrowStar Photography Community Gun Violence Madison Wisconsin

Madison had an increase in gun violence by


percent in 2020







Aside from death and injury, gun violence destroys entire communities. It causes a decrease in property values and economic development, perpetuates urban flight, and subjects children to horrific traumas; as well as causing many of them to struggle in school and increasing their risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of gun violence. While a variety of root causes are responsible for community gun violence, including poverty and structural racism, gun violence in and of itself is the primary driver of further violence, creating this vicious and devastating cycle.




The cycle of gun violence can be interrupted. Evidence-based methods have been proven successful in communities across the US and can be modified to be impactful in Dane County. While thousands are affected by community gun violence, only a small group are at high-risk for pulling the trigger. By focusing individualized programming on the small groups most likely to shoot and supporting the communities most impacted, we can save thousands of lives.


  • Increase Programming for the Highest Risk
    Increase targeted and personalized programming for those at highest risk Ensure that those at highest risk of committing community gun violence receive individualized outreach and programming such as: housing stabilization job training mental health resources Providing a clear path to a better life will support people in making safer choices
  • Provide Hospital and Family Outreach
    Too often retaliation by a victim’s family and friends causes more gun violence, presenting the need to provide hospital and family outreach. Focused Interruption has stopped retaliation acts of gun violence in Dane County by providing counseling and support to family and friends of the shooting victim. Often this work happens at the hospital within a few hours of the shooting.
  • Support Healthy Communities
    Supporting a healthy community means providing access to: quality jobs housing healthcare other basic needs A lack of these all contribute to community gun violence. By supporting a healthy community we reduce the need for violence prevention services.

Since introducing its evidence-based violence reduction plan in 2012, Oakland has decreased annual shootings and homicides by 50%.


 Community gun violence is a   solvable problem. 


With your help, we can stop the current increase of shootings in our City. We encourage everyone to learn about community gun violence and share resources within their network. Additional great resources include: Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence and the book, Bleeding Out by Thomas Abt. 

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