For most people, violent crime is something seen on the news – somewhat distant and vague. Like seeing reports of a terrorist attack across the world, even violent crime that happens locally is typically removed from most people’s day-to-day lives. Though crime causes fear and caution for all of us, there is also a level of disconnect unless you have had the misfortune of being personally impacted.

But the reality is that crime does occur, and citizens here in North Carolina are facing the aftermath. Earlier this year, the state of North Carolina released a State Bureau of Investigation report with 2015 data showing that despite the overall crime rate drop statewide, violent crime – including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – increased by almost seven percent. This disturbing trend represents nationwide numbers as well.