MUSC introduces violence prevention and intervention program as Charleston sees increases in violent crimes

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) -MUSC is highlighting the impact of violence and firearm injuries through research and a hospital and community-based program, as South Carolina maintains the sixth highest overall homicide rate in the US.

Researchers at MUSC are participating in a nationwide study that seeks to “develop a dataset to understand more fully both individual and community-level risk factors” contributing to firearm injury. Dr. Ashley Hink with MUSC says that “looking at circumstances such as poor social mobility, high rates of unemployment, and other stressors” can help break the cycle overall.

The new Hospital and Community Violence Prevention and Intervention Program at MUSC is scheduled to open in April. It aims to “provide direct services through intensive case management, mentorship, and community outreach to reduce individual and community risks of violence and promote recovery for victims and their families.” Dr. Hink is leading the program.

The program is coming online at a critical time, as South Carolina “is currently tied for the fourth highest homicide rate in the US for ages 0 through 24.”

More specifically, 2019-2020 police data in the City of Charleston alone indicates “increases in all forms of violent crime, including a 100% increase in homicides and 28% increase in aggravated assaults.”

Dr. Hink says that the program will “provide an opportunity to address more than just treating the injury. It will promote resilience and recovery as well as prevent reinjury.”

The hope is that the holistic approach will effectively address underlying factors that contribute to violence as a means of reducing violence overall.

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