Helping Our Youth Protecting Our Children
Times are changing and youth violence has become a very serious issue in our communities today.
This post is taken from my article featured at Beaumont Children's Hospital Website
Research has shown the following:
In a nationwide survey of high school students, 6 percent reported not going to school on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey because they felt unsafe at school and/or on their way to and from school.
In 2015, 485,610 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained due to violence-related assaults.
On average, 13 persons between the ages of 10 and 24 are murdered each day in the United States.
These facts are sad but true.
Preventing violence/trauma at home could be a key to its prevention outside of the home. Youth who are raised in a home environment that doesn’t promote healthy youth behavior and relationships tend to become a risk factor to others and to themselves.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), through Kaiser Permanente, performed the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. This study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being. Ultimately, the study showed a strong correlation between exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.
The definition of “youth violence” is when young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years intentionally use physical force or power to threaten or harm others. The CDC named many evidence-based prevention tools that have shown positive effects for preventing youth violence when implemented. These tools include, but are not limited to, the following:
Furthermore, the CDC outlined programs that are beneficial in helping individual families focus on goals. These programs specifically focus on areas that strengthen economic supports to families, change social norms to support parents and positive parenting, provide quality care and education early in life, enhance parenting skills to promote healthy child development, and intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk.
In our own community, groups such as the Beaumont Hospital Parenting Program, help prevent violence/trauma at home by providing individual family support, parenting classes and single moms groups to help address and prevent negative concerns at home.
Continuing our advocacy and protection of our youth should continue to be a priority because we all are aware that our children are our future.
In the words of author Cindy Thomson, “hunt the good stuff.” I encourage you—along with your family and children—at the end of each day, to think of at least three good and positive things that happened that day. This is helpful because, as Cindy Thomson described, if you hunt the good stuff you will find it, you will bring others to it and you will lessen the pain of the bad stuff.
– Charla E. Adams, J.D., NCC, LLPC, is a former intern with the Beaumont Parenting Program. In addition to being an attorney, she is a couples counselor, teaches Love and Logic parenting classes and is an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing clinician.