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Preventing Youth Violence

Group of teenagers at shopping mallEveryone has an important role in stopping youth violence before it starts. CDC’s Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action and its companion guide provide action steps to help everyone be part of the solution.

Is Youth Violence a Public Health Problem?

Youth violence is a significant public health problem that causes significant harm to young people, families, and communities. It is a leading cause of death and injuries—13 young people are victims of homicide each and every day and homicide is the third leading cause of death for youth aged 10─24 years. Its damage extends beyond young victims to harm the physical, mental, and economic health of all community residents.

The general term "youth violence" is used to describe when youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years intentionally use physical force or power to threaten or harm other people. Youth violence can take different forms. Examples include fights, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence. Youth violence typically involves young people hurting other youth.

Youth Violence is not inevitable or unavoidable. Evidence from research and practice show that we can prevent it. CDC's Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action and its companion guide, Taking Action to Prevent Youth Violence, provide information and action steps to help each of us be part of the solution.

What can be done to Prevent Youth Violence?

During the past two decades, CDC has provided scientific and programmatic expertise to help communities prevent youth violence before it starts. Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action and its companion guide, Taking Action to Prevent Youth Violence, offer examples of strategies, approaches, and activities that work to prevent youth violence.

The report encourages communities to identify a range of approaches and to implement several activities to achieve community-wide and sustained reduction in youth violence. Check out Web page about the full report for a list of approaches and a few examples.

Download the full report, Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action, for more detailed information about the key strategies and approaches to prevent youth violence.

Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action

Who can Help Prevent Youth Violence?

Everyone has a role in preventing youth violence and can take steps today that will make real and lasting differences. CDC's Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action and its companion guide, Taking Action to Prevent Youth Violence, provide information and action steps to help all community members be part of the solution. Community leaders and members, public health professionals, families, adults who work with youth, and young people can take steps today to stop youth violence before it starts.

  • Community leaders and members can take steps, such as enhancing the skills of young people and using evidence-based prevention strategies.
  • Public health professionals can strengthen their community's ability to understand and prevent youth violence through sharing information, using data, and continuing research.
  • Families and other adults who work with youth can be nonviolent role models, closely monitor youth's activities, and seek out help when needed.
  • Youth can make safe choices and help others be violence free.

The new releases explain these and other opportunities for action. Download the companion guide, Taking Action to Prevent Youth Violence for more information.

Report Resources

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