75 Resources and Activities for Youth Violence Awareness

According to the CDC, youth violence occurs when there is an intentional use of force or power to injure others. The age of those who are among the perpetrators, victims or witnesses of  this violence is between the ages of 14-24.  The good news is that youth violence is preventable!! According to Janet Benavente from Colorado State University, researchers agree on prevention resources for youth violence:
  • Youth violence is learned and can be unlearned.
  • Youth should be part of the solution for preventing violence.
  • Because violence is such a complex issue, it requires a comprehensive and multifaceted approach.
  • Partnerships and collaborations work more effectively than individual efforts.
In addition, the CDC recognizes that universal school-wide prevention approaches have the best success rate of reducing violence and other risk behaviors in youth. 

Why, as school counselors, should we be concerned with youth violence?  According to the CDC, youth violence is the third leading cause of death among youth ages 14-24. Some staggering facts from the CDC include...
  • 1 out of 4 high school students were in a fight in the past year. 
  • The number of youths involved in a homicide would fill 87 school buses.
  • The number of youths requiring medical attention would fill up 9 stadiums.
  • 7% of youths were threatened with a weapon.
  • 1 out of 5 high school students were bullied at school and 1 out of 6 were bullied online.
  • 7% of students did not go to school due to safety concerns.
  • Medical care and lost wages due to youth violence exceeds $17.5 billion or enough money to put 271,000 students through college!  Think how many counselors could be hired with that amount of money!!!
Understanding Youth Violence Fact Sheet
Understanding School Violence
Contributing Factors to Youth Violence

Since there are many factors that contribute to youth violence, sometimes it is difficult to determine which factor(s) will influence aggression.  There are four major factors that impact brutality among teens.

  • Individual factors include past exposure to violence, impulsiveness, poor school achievement, and poor problem solving skills.
  • Relationship factors consist of peer delinquency, family conflict, and poor parental supervision.
  • Community factors are homelessness or frequent moving by the family, weak economy, gang activity, and crime.
  • Societal concerns include acceptable norms of violence, limited education, and limited economic opportunities.

Although there are many risk factors for youth violence, there are also many protective factors that prevent violence among youth as well.

Some of these protective factors include:

High IQ
Perceived sanctions for misbehavior
Warm and caring family
Parental monitoring
Commitment to school
Recognition for involvement in conventional activities
Peers who participate in conventional activities
Risk Factors and Protective Factors

Youth Violence Awareness

How as school counselors can we expand these preventive factors in school? Each year, Students Against Violence Everywhere or SAVE coordinates an awareness campaign to reduce youth violence in schools.  This year, SAVE has chosen a different theme for each day of National Youth Violence Awareness (March 23-27).

Day 1: Promote Respect and Tolerance

Day 2: Manger Your Anger

Day 3: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully

Day 4: Support Safety

Day 5: Unite in Action

National Youth Violence Awareness Month Activities
Think about hosting a youth violence awareness week. If you want to extend your violence awareness program for the entire month, I have attached other violence awareness topics and 75 different resources to help you educate students, parents, and staff in your school!!  Feel free to share any ideas and I will post them on my blog!

Other Violence Awareness Topics

Active Shooter Awareness

Active Shooter

Active Shooter: How to Respond


Pacers: National Bullying Prevention

Bullying Resources

Bullying and Suicide Prevention Webinars

Bullying Prevention Training Module

Bullying Prevention Toolkit

Bullying Prevention: A Classroom Discussion

Bullying Students with Special Needs

Creating a Safe Space for LGBTQ Students: Online Training

Cyberbullying Tips for Administrators

CDC: Electronic Aggression Podcast

Choking Game


Recognizing Gangs in Our Community

Working With Parents in Gang Prevention

Gang Culture 101

Recognizing Gangs in Schools

Influencers of Gang Involvement

Internet Banging: Social Media Gang Related Violence

Sexual and Dating Violence

Break the Cycle: Dating Violence Curriculum

Dating Matters

Safe and Supportive Schools: Preventing, Intervening, and Accessing Teen Dating Abuse

Preventing and Responding to Dating Violence

Men & Boys: Preventing Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence

Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault

Online Learning Tools: Violence Against Women

Gender Based Violence: What Schools Can Do

Rape Prevention and Education

Sex Trafficking

Training Tools on Human Trafficking

How Human Trafficking Impacts Schools

Human Trafficking 101 for Administrators and Staff

National Organizations 

CASEL: Collaborate for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

CDC: Injury and Violence Prevention Podcast

Creating Safe and Respectful Environment- in Classrooms Training Toolkit 

Find Youth Info: Preventing Youth Violence

Importance of Education in Reducing Delinquency

National Crime Prevention Council

National School Safety Center

Safe and Supportive Schools

Safe and Civil Schools
Safe School Information

Search Institute

Threat Assessment in Schools 

CDC: Youth Violence Prevention

Veto Violence
State Safe School Resources

Arkansas Safe Schools Initiative

California Safe Schools

Colorado School Safety Resource Center

Prevention Works Connecticut

Florida Safe Schools

Georgia Center for School Safety, School Climate, and Classroom Management

Indiana School School Safety 

Kentucky Center for School Safety

Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center

Mississippi Division of School Safety

Missouri Center for Educational Safety

Montana Safe Schools

Nebraska School Safety Center

North Carolina Center for Safer Schools

Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition

Ohio Safer Schools

Pennsylvania Center for Schools and Communities

Tennessee School Safety Center

Texas School Safety Center

Virginia Center for School Safety

Washington School Safety

Injury Centers

John Hopkins: Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence

University of Colorado: Center for the Study & Prevention of Violence

University of Michigan: Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center

University of North Carolina: The NC Center for Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention

University of Oregon: Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior

Virginia Commonwealth University for Positive Youth Development

Student Organizations

Safe School Ambassadors

SAVE: Students Against Violence Everywhere

SADD: Students Against Destructive Decisions