As we read headlines and hear the news, we see the signs and impacts of violence all around us. Youth violence is a global problem and a public health problem, and includes bullying, physical fighting, sexual and physical assault, and homicide. Although rates of violence vary amongst and within countries, violence impacts many teens directly and/or indirectly. Many teens are either victims or perpetrators of violence, in the home, in the world at large, or in school. Girls are particularly vulnerable; the World Health Organization notes that girls are often the victims of violence and that every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. Young males comprise a much larger percentage of perpetrators and homicide fatalities.
Risk factors for youth violence exist within individual teens, within their close relationships, and within their larger communities and societies as a whole. Effectively addressing youth violence requires addressing social determinants of violence (income inequality, rapid social change, and low levels of social protection).
Violence has a lasting effect on the physical and mental well-being of adolescents and is a public health issue that demands our focus and attention.
Below are some tips and resources to help raise awareness about teen violence:
- Teen Violence Event/Promotional Toolkit
Download the Teen Health Week event/promotional toolkit for teen violence.
The day’s aim is to provide resources and strategies teens can use to abate violence, control anger, help those in danger, and prevent violence.
This toolkit has been created to make it easy for a variety of organizations (Medical Offices, Schools, etc.) interested in adolescent health to participate in Global Teen Health Week. You are free to use and adapt any of the materials herein for your Teen Health Week activities; however, use of these materials is not required in order to promote adolescent health during Teen Health Week. Participating organizations are at liberty to celebrate Teen Health Week in any manner they wish, and are encouraged to be creative in adapting these ideas to meet the needs of the adolescents you wish to reach. Approval for activities or educational materials is not required.
- Teen Violence Facts
- Violence is a leading cause of death in older adolescent males.
- In the US, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- 1/3 of US adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner
- 1/10 of US high school students has been purposefully physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18. The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
- In the US, youth are disproportionately affected by firearm violence, experiencing 1/5th of all firearm-related deaths and almost half of all non-fatal firearm injuries, while only comprising about 14% of the US population in 2010.
- In the US alone, almost 1 out of every 4 students have been bullied.
- In a study of 40 developing countries, an average of 42% of boys and 37% of girls were exposed to bullying.
- Bullying affects the bullied, the bullies, and teens who have witnessed bullying behavior.
- Students who are bullied experience lower confidence and self-esteem and high rates of anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
- Bullies themselves have a higher risk of getting into trouble with the law.
- Witnesses feel less safe where bullying occurs.
- Bullying and intimate partner violence differ only in terms of the relationship between the abuser and the victim. These types of violence reflect aggression by one person with more power towards another with less power. These types of aggression are called “bullying” or “child abuse” or “dating abuse” depending on the relationship between the persons.
- Globally, 1 in 10 girls under the age of 20 years report experiencing sexual violence. In one study, from 3–24% of women report that their first sexual experience was forced.
- Close to 1 in 3 middle or high school students in the US are exposed to cyberbullying.
- Other Resources
- Take the “is my relationship healthy?” quiz.
- What if I think my teen is a victim of dating violence?
- What if I think my teen is abusive?
- Domestic violence remains a life-threatening issue.
- Partner violence is behind many female murders, report shows.
- How can I keep my teen safe on social media?
- New mobile app educates parents on teen dating issues.
- How to respond to bullying.