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Teen Violence and Homicide
Homicide victims and offenders have gotten younger. Teen violence and homicide, usually related to gang involvement and other violent activities, is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. This article will review statistics and causes of teen violence.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in recent years an average of fifteen teens were killed every day, usually with firearms, and 750,000 teens are treated in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries each year. A recent CDC study of teens found that 33 percent had been in a physical fight in the last year and 17 percent reported that they had taken a weapon to school in the previous 30 days.
Teen homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American teens, and far more victims are male than female, but all teens can be at risk. Some factors that increase the chances than a teen will be a victim of violence or homicide are:
These risk factors are not what causes teen homicide, but they often put teens in situations where they are more likely to be victims or offenders. Teen homicide often can be prevented, and parental involvement is an important key. Some things that parents can do to protect their teens from violence, or from becoming a victim or perpetrator of teen homicide, include:
If you think your teen is involved in violent or risky behavior, it is important to talk to him or her. Here are some things you can do to help a violent teen:
Resources: Your local police can give you more information about gangs in your area. Check your phonebook for local mental health services, often including clinics offering free or discounted counseling. The PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) is a good way to get involved at your teen's school; talk to the school principal for more information, or go to pta.org