The OC Safe from the Start vision is to empower individuals, families, organizations, and communities to reduce children's early exposure to violence and reinforce the belief that every "Every Orange County Child is My Concern." This public health campaign is a comprehensive strategy to assist communities in reducing the impact of violence on children. The initiative targets children ages 0 to 18 with an emphasis on children ages 0 to 5, who have been exposed to family, school and /or community violence.
Recent research on the effects of children's exposure to violence is compelling. Children exposed to violence and maltreatment may suffer increased depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, anger, alcohol and drug abuse, and lower academic achievement. New scientific studies have uncovered the physiological impact of violence on the developing human brain and the long-term consequences of this exposure. Moreover, children exposed to violence, either as victims or witnesses, are more likely to become juvenile and adult offenders.