Youth Violence Prevention

Youth Violence Prevention

Youth Violence Prevention

Definition: Youth violence can be violence either against or committed by a child or adolescent. Violent crimes include child abuse and neglect, rape, murder, and nonfatal assault. Bullying and school violence are also considered subsets of youth violence.

Magnitude of the Problem:  According to the CDC,

  • In 2007, 5,764 young people ages 10 to 24 were murdered--an average of 16 each day. Of  these victims, 84% were killed with firearms.
  • For young people ages 10-24, homicide is the second leading cause of death.
  • In 2008, more than 656,000 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained due to violence.
  • Among 10 to 24 year olds, homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans, the second leading cause of death for Hispanics, and the third leading cause of death for American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Asian/Pacific Islanders

Prevention: Factors that may protect some youth from violence include: connectedness to family or other adults; ability to discuss problems with parents; the perception that parental expectations for school performance are high; frequent shared activities with parents; youth involvement in social activities; commitment to school; and the consistent presence of parent during at least one of the following: when awakening, when arriving home from school, during evening mealtimes, and when going to bed.

A number of measures may indirectly affect the factors that contribute to youth violence. Programs that address community deterioration (improving areas for children to play and providing supervised activities); alcohol abuse; gun safety; non violence coping skills; and economic issues can also help to prevent youth violence.

Domestic violence and child abuse often occur in the same family. Children who witness violence between parents are at risk of serious mental health and other problems. Domestic violence prevention and abuse services can help break the cycle of violence for children.

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