Case Examples

Sierra Leone: The battle for childhood

Matthew Price reports about his experience meeting with child soldiers in Jotown, Sierra Leone. He met a 15-year-old child soldier who was the youngest in that army, and learned that “children as young as 10 have been abducted, and forced to fight.” The rebels used rape and murder against their families as a tool to get children to join the army. Many children were even forced to commit harm to their own family members. Young girls were also targeted and raped, and “still only children themselves, they now look after their own babies.” Furthermore, the government had a slogan that said, “Vote with your hands.” Thus, the rebels with their anti-democratic mindset executed a strategy to amputate citizens’ hands and legs to deter them from voting. As described in the other sections of this Chapter on Identifying Violence, it is important to become informed of the underlying reasons and historical accuracies so that we can be better prepared when working towards violence prevention.

Price, Matthew. “Sierra Leone: The Battle for Childhood.” BBC News. 26 January 2001. Web. 5 August 2014. <>.


Gang members get over 100-year prison sentence for killing Oakland toddler killing

This article is a good example of an unintended consequence of gang violence. The offenders of the drive-by shooting shot at least 10 bullets intended to kill two members of their rival gang as part of a neighborhood gang war. They were convicted for wounding the two men of their rival gang, but one of their bullets struck and killed a three-year-old boy. The shooter was sentenced to 137 years in prison and the driver, 121 years. Collateral damage by definition means damage done to an incidental target, which relates to this situation.

Fraley, Malaika. “Gang Members get over 100-year prison sentence for Oakland toddler killing.” Oakland Tribune. 23 July 2014. Web. 3 August 2014. <>.

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