National Youth Violence Prevention Week April 4-8, 2016

Source: National Institute of Justice

While statistics show that youth violence has been on the decline in America, it still is one of the leading causes of death for young people.

The term “youth violence” refers to when young people, aged 10-24 years, intentionally use physical force or power to threaten or harm others. Youth violence such as fighting, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence. It typically involves youth perpetrating violence against other young people. Youth violence is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Many young people need medical care for violence-related injuries. These injuries can include cuts, bruises, broken bones, and gunshot wounds. Some injuries can lead to lasting disabilities.

Although kids in gangs are far more likely than kids not involved in gangs to be both victims and perpetrators of violence, the risks go far beyond crime and violence. Gang-involved youth are more likely to engage in substance abuse and high-risk behavior and to experience a wide range of potentially long-term health and social consequences. This includes school dropout, teen parenthood, family problems, and unstable employment.

However, communities can help reduce youth violence by developing a city-wide strategy that combines prevention, intervention, treatment, and reentry strategies.