Youth Violence Prevention
Violence and the injuries caused by it are problems that reach throughout all demographics and lead to a broad range of problems in families and in society, too. When these accidents happen, it can rock a community to its core when the life of a loved one is taken too soon or when serious injuries derail the bright future ahead of a young adult.What You Need to Know About Youth Violence
Unfortunately, accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities sustained by young individuals. Youth violence is, unfortunately, one of these primary causes that can lead to injuries for an adolescent or a child. Youth violence is violence that occurs against an adolescent or child and may include rape, child abuse, neglect, non-fatal assault and murder.
Furthermore, school violence and bullying can also be classified as subsets of youth violence. These serious issues have received a great deal of media attention in the last several years and have been the focus of a rising number of pieces of legislation in states across the country. The problem is serious as it relates to youth violence in the United States and when injuries occur, the consequences can be long lasting and frustrating, for the injured youth as well as his or her parents.Homicide and Youth Violence Issues
According to the CBC, homicide is the leading cause of death for young individuals between the ages of 10 and 24. Furthermore, nearly 6000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 were murdered in 2007 alone. That translates to approximately 16 youth every single day. The majority of these victims were killed as a result of firearms.
Firearms accounted for 84% of fatal injuries in murder cases. Emergency departments are often the first places that parents will take their children after serious injuries associated with youth violence. In 2008, more than 656,000 young adults were treated in emergency rooms across the country for injuries directly tied to a youth violence event.
Furthermore, homicide affects certain segments of the population more seriously than others. Between the ages of 10 and 24, homicide is the leading cause of death for African American youth. It is the third leading cause of death for Alaskan natives, American Indians and Asian Pacific Islanders and it is the second leading cause of death for Hispanic youth. Preventing youth violence often becomes in the home but it is also the responsibility of the community. Several of the factors that can influence whether or not youth violence is prevented include:
- Ability to discuss problems with parents directly
- Connectedness of the individual to other adults and family members
- The perception that school performance expectations held by the parents are high
- Involvement in social activities
- Shared activities with parents
- The consistent presence of at least one parent when arriving home from school, awakening, during evening meals and going to bed.
- General commitment to school responsibilities
There are also a number of different factors that indirectly contribute to youth violence. Programs that address community issues such as improving areas for children to play and providing supervised activities after school can help to decrease the number of youth violence events that occur on a daily basis. Furthermore, economic issues, alcohol abuse in the home, gun safety and non-violence coping skills can all prevent youth violence. In many cases, child abuse and domestic violence are the most common types of violence carried out against youth.
Children who witness violence between their parents are at risk of critical mental health issues and domestic violence abuse and prevention services can help to break the cycle of violence for children. A child who has been negatively affected by youth violence may feel the repercussions throughout the rest of his or her life. Since violence against youth has so many consequences throughout the country and the world, legislators and advocates have remained focused on doing everything in their power to curb the devastating consequences.