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Why the United States Needs More Charity and Activism in Social Issue

why-the-united-states-needs-more-charity-and-activism-in-social-issue

United States Needs More Charity and Activism in Social Issues

The United States has faced its fair share of challenges in recent years. With a contentious election, a divisive political climate, and several high-profile scandals, trust in institutions has reached an all-time low. The result is that people are increasingly isolated and distrustful of others. Social issues have also been thrust into the spotlight as new research uncovers more problems facing marginalized communities. Poverty, mental illness, domestic violence, and social isolation are just some of the concerns facing Americans today. Social activism is at an all-time low among young adults in the US, with only 11 percent volunteering monthly or more and less than half speaking out about activist causes they care about (Pew Research Center). Progress cannot come from a small subsection of society. Everyone needs to get involved if we want to solve these problems together. Here are four reasons why the United States needs more charity and activism on social issues:

People are increasingly isolated and lonely

Studies have found that more people than ever are feeling socially isolated. This is especially the case for young people aged 18–29, who are more likely to experience feelings of loneliness than any other age group. This isn't just a feeling either — social isolation can have very real health effects. Research has linked social isolation to a wide range of mental and physical health issues, including a higher risk of death, higher rates of drug use, heart disease, and even weakened immune systems. An increased focus on charity and activism could help to alleviate some of the pressures facing socially isolated communities.

Mental illness is on the rise

Mass shootings, such as those at Virginia Tech in 2007, Sandy Hook in 2012, and Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, have highlighted the prevalence of mental illness in the US. While some illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are genetic and are therefore unavoidable, around two-thirds of mental illness is believed to be caused by external factors. While many people in the US struggle with mental health issues, less than half seek treatment for them. In fact, only about a third of people with a mental illness actually receive treatment. This could be the result of the stigma surrounding mental illness, with around half of Americans viewing those who are mentally ill as dangerous.

why-the-united-states-needs-more-charity-and-activism-in-social-issue

Charity and Activism in Social Issues

There is an abundance of domestic violence

Every 9 seconds, a person is abused by their partner. Around 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. There's a wide range of social issues contributing to domestic violence, including poverty and gender inequality. However, there are also misconceptions surrounding domestic violence. For example, while it is common to believe it is a crime committed largely by men against women, research has found that women and men commit domestic violence at comparable rates. Such misconceptions make it difficult to end the cycle of domestic violence, particularly given that only around 1 in 10 reported incidents of domestic violence leads to an arrest. The emphasis needs to be on prevention and intervention. This includes improving the way law enforcement handles domestic violence cases, investing in shelters, and raising awareness of the issue.

Society's view of race and gender has yet to evolve

Racial inequality is a pressing issue in the United States, particularly given the current political climate. Racially motivated hate crimes have increased over the last few years, with the majority occurring after the 2016 presidential election. And yet, only a small percentage of hate crimes are actually reported to the police. Racial inequality can be seen in a number of areas, from education and employment to health care. It is particularly prevalent when it comes to the criminal justice system, with black and Hispanic Americans significantly more likely to be charged, convicted, and receive a longer sentence than white people. When it comes to gender inequality, the US has always been a slow mover. While the #MeToo movement has been incredibly successful in raising awareness of sexual harassment and abuse, the gender gap in pay is still very much a reality.

Conclusion

The United States has a long way to go before it can claim to be a fully developed and inclusive society. While recent times have seen a rise in social issues, they have also seen a drop in social activism. It's time to change the narrative and get people involved in the issues that affect them.

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