Youth Violence and Bullying
Violence is a significant public health problem in the United States. Each year,more than 55,000 people in the United States die as a result of violence and more than 2,300,000 are treated in emergency departments for a violence-related injury. Violence can lead to other significant mental and physical health consequences such as depression and anxiety, pregnancy complications, and even chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Violence also
erodes the sense of safety and security so essential to the well-being of families and significantly impacts communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services. Every 7 minutes a child is bullied in the USA; Every day four women die in the USA as a result of domestic violence, by husbands and boyfriends; Every year over 500,000 women in US have been victims of rape or attempted rape; Every year 572,000 reports of assault in US by intimates are officially reported (Center for Disease Control and Prevention- Division of Violence Prevention
http://www.stopbullying.gov/). Among young people, where violence and bullying are most common, violence is often linked to gangs, drugs, an impoverished neighborhood with fewer perceived opportunities, poor attachment to school, and poor academic accomplishment. Boys are much more likely to be involved in violence than girls. Bullying (teasing, hitting, threatening, exclusion,…), on the other hand, is based on individuals, who may be boys or girls, but are often those who feel a need to be powerful and in control. Bullying victims may be students who do not know how to stand up to bullies. Bullying is one type of youth violence that threatens young people’s well-being. Bullying can result in physical injuries, social and emotional difficulties, and academic problems. The harmful effects of bullying are frequently felt by others, including friends and families, and can hurt the overall health and safety of schools, neighborhoods, and society.
Although violence-related behaviors, such as carrying a weapon, fighting, and getting injured while fighting are associated with both bullying and being bullied, these behaviors occur more often among those doing the bullying. American school experience and study showed that bullying often occurs in conjunction with more serious aggressive, violent and antisocial behavior, and therefore should not be considered a normal and accepted part of youth behavior (D. Zuckerman, & et, 2003). Concern has increased about youth violence in and out of schools. And, violence-prevention programs in schools have shown limited success (Howard, Flora, & Griffin, 1999). The ultimate goal is to stop youth violence and bully before it starts.