National Youth Violence Prevention Week, from April 22 to 26 this year, is the time of the year when certain organizations place a great focus on preventing youth violence. Sponsored by the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) and Sandy Hook Promise, the week looks at the different instances of youth violence that have taken place over the past few years. It also aims to encourage student involvement, so people of all ages are better prepared to tackle cases of youth violence before they occur. The end goal is to ensure no young lives are lost in horrifying acts of violence.
History of National Youth Violence Prevention Week
In the history of the United States, numerous cases of youth violence have occurred, leaving students scarred for life. However, it wasn’t until the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that the idea to dedicate a week to preventing school violence was formulated. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, also known as the Newtown shootings of 2012, occurred on December 14. The tragic attack left 28 people dead, while two were injured. The shocking aspect of the story was the fact that the crime was committed by a 20-year-old.
The killer, Adam Lanza, started the murder spree by killing his mother at their home. He brutally shot her four times with a 22-caliber rifle. The firearms that were used in the tragedy had previously been purchased by Lanza’s mother. After killing his mother, Lanza drove to the Sandy Hook Elementary School — an institute for kindergarten through fourth-grade students. As he reached the school, he started shooting whoever came in his way. This includes the security guards and the Sandy Hook principal. It was 9:30 am, and as the gunshots rang through the school, protocol to protect the students was immediately implemented. Alas, lives were still lost as Lanza entered classrooms and fired 154 rounds in less than five minutes. 26 lives were lost, and many of them had been shot multiple times. After the killings, Lanza committed suicide.
However, after the attack, a conversation regarding the U.S. gun laws made center stage. During this time, a national nonprofit organization called the Sandy Hook Promise was founded by several family members who had lost their loved ones in the attack.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week timeline
Two students go on a murder spree at the Columbine High School in Colorado, killing 12 students.
A 16-year-old shoots and kills seven people at Red Lake Senior High School.
Thirty-two people are killed after a student opens fire at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
A community college student kills six people and wounds 13 in the area near the University of California-Santa Barbara camp.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week FAQs
What are the three major factors that lead to youth violence?
The three major factors that lead to youth violence include domestic violence, child abuse, and media influence.
What is serious youth violence?
Serious youth violence is an offense when serious violence or a weapon is involved and the victim is aged one to 19.
How can we overcome violence?
Take a stand and tell someone you trust about the violence you are being subjected to.
How to Observe National Youth Violence Prevention Week
Offer financial assistance
Many programs have now been started to ensure students are counseled effectively so they never resort to violence. Donate to the one you like the best.
Volunteer for the programs
Do not have a large amount of cash to donate? That’s okay! You can simply volunteer at an organization and lend your hand in contributing to the solution to the problem of youth violence.
There are so many things you can do this week, all you need is a proactive attitude. Print flyers that narrate the causes of youth violence, and spread awareness regarding how we can join forces to reduce youth violence.
5 Facts About Youth Violence You Need To Know
Homicides occurring annually
Over 200,000 homicides occur annually worldwide among youth between the ages of 10 to 29.
High school students are injured each year
Roughly 1,150,000 high school students face an incident with a weapon at school.
Knowing it’s about to take place
In four out of five school shootings, at least one other person was aware an attack was about to happen.
The impact of school violence
Nearly 90,000 school children end up in the emergency room.
Threats aren’t reported because students don’t want to be called a “snitch.”
Why National Youth Violence Prevention Week is Important
It spreads awareness
This week is important because it spreads awareness regarding youth violence. It also tackles several factors that may trigger teenagers to resort to violence including video games, violent movies, e.t.c.
It increases safety
Due to the information provided throughout the week, people become aware of the violence that exists. With this, they begin to take precautionary measures to protect people in case a horrific incident occurs.
It may cause youth violence to end
Incidents of youth violence will likely decrease as time passes. This is due to the awareness that is created and the security measures that are put in place.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week dates