Graphic video from KCMO Health Department targets teens to show consequences of violence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The health department has produced a graphic video targeted at teens, to open their eyes to the consequences of gun violence they may never consider.

The city is expanding its violence prevention campaign beyond homicides.

Violence resulted in more than 650 young people becoming victims of aggravated assault in 2017.

Just because young people didn't die in these incidents doesn't mean they haven't been scarred in ways that aren't always apparent.

A public service announcement produced by the health department shows those physical scars as well as hearing young victims describe the toll of gun violence on their lives.

The project coordinator says spending months in the hospital or not being able to walk, run or jump as they did before, is a message that has resonated with focus groups of teens.

"They didn’t really think about that," said Cynthia Carlson, special projects coordinator for the health department. "Since there is so much focus again on homicides and the end result, that there were other consequences that perhaps youth had not considered."

The city says guns are the third leading cause of death for Americans under 19 years old.

If you don't ever see the physical scars or experience disabilities that can last a lifetime, some teens say they had no idea what survivors of violence are enduring.

The video is part of the health department's campaign to treat violence as a disease. To learn more about public health efforts to prevent bloodshed, click or tap here.

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