National Youth Violence Prevention Week: Are We Doing Enough to Keep Our Youth Safe?

An initiative of Sandy Hook Promise, Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), along with other concerned organizations, founded the National Youth Violence Prevention Week #YVPW in 2001. This year it is being observed this week from April 8 to 12. The purpose of this campaign is to “raise awareness and educate youth and communities on effective strategies to prevent youth violence before it happens.”

The American Hospital Association explains that youth violence is a significant public health issue as it affects thousands of young people, their families, and their communities. Youth violence can take many forms including bullying, fights, the use of weapons, and gang-violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), names youth violence as the leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults. The CDC states that, “youth who experience violence also have a higher risk for other physical and mental health problems, including smoking, substance use, depression, academic problems, and suicide.”

By raising awareness and offering resources through nationwide activities and engaging the public, government leaders, and young people themselves, SAVE hopes to make an impact in decreasing the number of young lives affected by youth violence.