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Keeping Your Teens Safe From Violence

According to a 2004 report from the Center for Disease Control, in 2002, more than 877,700 young people ages 10 to 24 were injured from violent acts. Approximately 1 in 13 required hospitalization.

In a nationwide survey, 17% of students reported carrying a weapon (e.g., gun, knife, or club) on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey. Among students nationwide, 33% reported being in a physical fight one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey.

Nationwide, 9% of students reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months.

A nationwide survey found female students (12%) more likely than male students (6%) to have been forced to have sexual intercourse.

Tips On How To Keep Your Teens Safe From Violence

Get Active

  • If you think your teen may be a victim or involved in a violent situation talk with them about it
  • Talk to your teen about ways to solve arguments and fights without weapons or violence
  • Communicate with your teen and let them know they can come to you or another trusted adult to avoid potentially violent situations.
  • Join with other parents in your community and get involved to reduce violence.

Monitor the media

  • Watching TV, music videos and platying video games should be limited to 2 hours a day
  • If a violent program or commercial comes on TV, talk about why it’s wrong and how it should e handled without violence
  • Do not permit your teens to watch violent TV programs or movies

You Are Your Teen’s Role Model

  • Control your anger. Let your teen know you need some time to think. By solving probelms calmly without hitting or violence, you are your teen's best role model.
  • Set limits and teach your teens that there are rules and consequences for their behavior and actions
  • By solving problems with your teens, you are teaching them non violent behavior

Reducing Teen Gun Violence

  • If you own a gun, keep it locked at all times and don’t carry it. Lock and store bullets separately. By carrying the gun, the message you send to your teen is that you use a gun to solve problems.
  • Explain to your teenhow important it is to stay away from potentially dangerous situations and from guns in homes of friends or places where he or she may visit

 Teach Your Teen How To Deal With Anger

  • Anger is a normal feeling. It isn’t bad if it’s expressed properly. Teach your teen that it is okay to be angry, but it's not okay to throw a punch.
  • If your teen’s anger cannot be controlled, sometimes counseling is necessary to help them deal with their angerin the proper way.

Warning Signs If Your Teen Is A Vicitm Of Violence

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Clinginess
  • Mood Swings
  • Change in eating or sleeping habits
  • Acting Out
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Avoidance of school
  • Nightmares
  • Decline in school performance
  • Poor peer relations

Warning Signs Of Teen Violence

It is critical to get help if your teen exhibits these warning signs for potential violence:

  • Uncontrollable angry outbursts
  • Past violent or aggressive behavior
  • Witnessing abuse or violence in the home
  • Family history of violent behavior or suicide attempts
  • Being a victim of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, bullying or cyberbullying)
  • Mental illness, such as depression, mania, psychosis, or bipolar disorder
  • Little or no supervision or support from parents or other caring adult
  • Disciplinary problems at school or in the community
  • Poor peer relationships and/or social isolation
  • Experience of humiliation, shame, loss, or rejection
  • Use of alcohol or illicit drugs
  • A sense of entitlement -- believing they should get what they want at any expense
  • Threats of violence, either verbal or written
  • Past suicide attempts or threats
  • Involvement with cults or gangs
  • Blaming others and/or unwilling to accept responsibility for one's own actions
  • Access to guns or other weapons
  • Bringing a weapon to school
  • Bullying or intimidating peers or younger children
  • Themes of death or depression repeatedly evident in conversation, written expressions, reading selections, or artwork
  • Preoccupation with themes and acts of violence in tv shows, movies, music, magazines, comics, books, video games, and internet sites
  • Past destruction of property or vandalism
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Setting fires

Usually the more warning signs your teen displays, the greater the risk.  It is equally important to realize, that many teens can display these warning signs and never resort to violence. If you think your teen needs help, it is critical to seek that help immediately. 

Read more about Teen Violence Prevention

What Your Teen Can Do To Keep Safe From Violence


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