This town created an environment built on empathy and saw crime decrease

Showing empathy changes society. That’s the story of a small town in the state of Washington. It started at the local high school where the staff created an environment built on empathy acknowledging the presence of childhood trauma in addressing disciplinary issues. A year after the “trauma-informed care” project started the graduation rate increased by about 30 percent and suspensions decreased by almost 85 percent. Today, an electric utility provider, the police department, and other organizations in the town have all committed to raising awareness of traumatic childhood experiences and to providing internal resources to foster a safe and healthy community. Because the town understands that childhood trauma can cause adulthood struggles like lack of focus, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and suicide.

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