Youth violence: Violence involves young persons, typically children, adolescents, and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24. The young person can be the victim, the perpetrator, or both. Youth violence includes aggressive behaviors such as verbal abuse, bullying, hitting, slapping, or fistfighting. These behaviors have significant consequences but do not generally result in serious injury or death. Youth violence also includes serious violent and delinquent acts such as aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and homicide, committed by and against youth. In addition to causing injury and death, youth violence undermines communities by increasing the cost of health care, reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.
High-profile school shootings have increased public concern over student safety. The students at higher risk for a school-associated violent death include those from racial and ethnic minorities who attend urban high schools. US schools, however, offer more safety than homes or neighborhoods do. School-associated violent deaths represent less than 1% of all homicides and suicides that occur among school-aged children. Many violence prevention programs are centered in schools for practical reasons. Youth already gather there on a regular basis. Schools can implement interventions, set policies, and alter physical surroundings to minimize risk factors for violence. Thus, schools can create a model environment.
Adolescents can experience violence within the context of a dating relationship. This may occur when one person in a relationship uses abusive behaviors to demonstrate power or control over the other person. Dating violence includes physical violence, sexual assault, and verbal or emotional abuse.
_Photo: © UNICEF/NYHQ2009-1771/Susan Markisz Colombia, 2009(In blue shirt) A boy walks away holding the yoyo he has just bullied the boy behind him (in white shirt) into releasing, as the second boy holds his throat and cries, during recess at the Robert Owen Educational Institute in Moravi.