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New CDC Resource Can Help States and Communities Prevent Youth Violence

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Bullying is a form of youth violence – and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resources states and communities can use to stop it. Bullying is a serious public health problem. Bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress, and even death. In 2015, about 1 in 5 U.S. high school students reported being bullied on school property - PDF.

CDC’s new resource, A Comprehensive Technical Package for the Prevention of Youth Violence and Associated Risk Behaviors - PDF, outlines science-based strategies states and communities can use to stop and prevent youth violence including bullying.

It highlights six strategies:

  • Promote family environments that support healthy development
  • Provide quality education early in life
  • Strengthen youth’s skills
  • Connect youth to caring adults and activities
  • Create protective community environments
  • Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk

These strategies work together and reinforce each other.  Some of the strategies focus on the young people themselves and involve developing problem-solving, communication, and conflict management skills. Other strategies improve relationships or influence the school and community environment.  The use of multiple prevention strategies is likely to have the greatest impact.

Evidence-based strategies to prevent youth violence

CDC’s technical package is based on the best available evidence to prevent or reduce public health problems like youth violence.  It is meant to be used as a resource to guide decision-making in communities and states.  It has three main parts:

  • The strategy lays out the direction or actions to achieve the goal of preventing violence
  • The approach includes the specific ways to advance the strategy
  • The evidence is included for each of the approaches to prevent violence or associated risk factors

What can you do to stop bullying?

Public health, health care, education, social services, government, justice and other sectors can use the technical package to work together to prevent youth violence.

If you are already working to prevent youth violence, use this technical package to assess your activities and see if there are areas to expand your efforts.  If you have not begun to work on prevention, this technical package can help you plan and prioritize your activities.

We have a responsibility to our young people and communities to promote the healthy and safe development of our youth.  We hope you use this technical package to get started today. 

For more information on violence prevention, see www.vetoviolence.cdc.gov and www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention.