Youth violence has been a serious issue in the U.S. It is hard to stop violence against youth, but a simple action can make a big difference. This is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did during the National Youth Violence Prevention Week. It used its VetoViolence Facebook page to raise awareness regarding youth violence and accommodate questions on youth violence prevention.
From March 18 to 22, 2013, VetoViolence has made its youth violence experts available to answer questions on youth violence-related topics. Inquiries about risk factors, bullying and evidence-based prevention strategies and programs were welcomed. Facebook users simply posted their questions as comments or on VetoViolence’s timeline.
Questions about violence
Here are the questions raised on CDS’ online violence prevention portal:
- Is there a good response to someone who states that a victim of violence has somehow caused or deserves what's come upon them?
- If a child bites as a toddler, does that indicate a propensity toward violence as they age?
- How can I get the attention of the adults in charge of my children's public school system to become preventionist and become the stewards/protectors of the kids they serve, instead of asking the KIDS to ward off potential offenders?!
- What record keeping system for workplace violence have you found to be the most comprehensive? When selecting a candidate to case manage potential cases of WPV, other than job experience, what skills/ traits, are beneficial?
- Who is the most likely person in a teen's life to notice that they are involved in violence? How can that person successfully intervene (in terms of first steps)?
All of these questions were answered by the CDC experts who have been working toward the goal of preventing violence before it happens.
CDC defines youth violence as “harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood.” These behaviors or acts include bullying, slapping or hitting which cause emotional and physical harm to the young person. Here are some other statistics about violence:
- Youth violence/homicide is considered as the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24.
- In 2010, 4,828 young people ages 10 to 24 were victims of homicide. About 86% (4,171) were male and 14% (657) were female.
- In 2010, 82.8% of the homicide victims ages 10 to 24-years-old were killed with a firearm.
Workshop in Louisville
In 2013, a workshop was held at Ali Center to help combat issue of youth violence in Louisville. The workshop conducted on March 8, 2013 and was attended by various youth group leaders, teachers, counselors and advocate groups. The workshop intended to teach the participants how to support young people who feel like they do not have a voice and encourage them to become important members of the society. National Youth Violence Prevention Week has already ended but all our efforts to prevent youth violence should continue every day.