This study examined the relative importance of caregiver substance abuse as a correlate of child-reported exposure to violence. A total of 407 female African-American primary caregivers and their children age 6 to 7 were evaluated. The association between child report of violence and exposure to substance abuse by others (both within and outside the home) was considered after controlling for variance accounted for by child characteristics, caregiver characteristics, home environment, and neighborhood environment (including neighborhood crime). Caregiver alcohol abuse, children's witnessing of drug use in the home, and children's witnessing of drug deals all explained significant additional variance in violence exposure. These findings suggest that for early elementary-age children, meaningful prevention of violence exposure may be possible via addressing their exposure to substance abuse in their home and community.