Prevention Strategies For Youth Violence

Youth violence is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on victims and their family, friends, the perpetrator and his family and communities.

 

The goal for youth violence prevention is to stop youth violence from happening in the first place and seek to get healthy youth achieving their full potential, as connected and contributing members of thriving, violence-free families, schools, and communities. 
 

For this to be realised one must look to change norms, improve environments and behaviours in ways that prevent violence or modify the factors that increase or buffer against the risk for violence.

 

The strategies are intended to work in combination and reinforce each other and they are listed below.

Promote Healthy Family Environments 

 

  • To have a healthy family environment, the home must be rid of domestic violence and all forms of physical and emotional abuse of children in the homes.  

  • Parenting skills and family relationship programs would be needed to assist parents in better understanding their role as a parent and in breaking habits such as child neglect, child abandonment and all forms of child abuse that hamper the development of children. 

  • Early childhood home visitation to some homes might be needed to assist parents and to ensure that programs are working in the best interest of the child.

  • Childnre should be fully connectedness to family and relatives and close family friends.

  • Every child should be able to discuss problems with parents or speak to them on any subject.

  • Children should be encouraged to take an interest in school and inspired to do well at school.  Reading to children from young and helping them to see learning as fun would be ideal to get them off on a postive note.

  • Children and parents should have frequent shared activities.  That can include going to the beach together, doing special dinners or lunches together and even grocery shopping.

  • Every child deserves to have a parent at home with them when they return from school, when they are going to bed and when they wake in the morning.  Hugs and kisses would be nice.

  • Children should be given the opportunity to get involved in positive activities and parents should show interest by also getting involved.  Eg.  If your child is playing football, you should make time to watch him/her train at some time and attend games to cheer them on.

  • Parents should take a keen interest in the child's health and ensure that the children get annual dental, vision, hearing and general check ups or as neeed..

 

A quality education early in life

  • A quality pre school program is necessary and this means that all preschools should be required to meet certain standards and checks done to ensure that children are not abuse physically or emotionally and that there are programs in the preschool setting that are conducive to the development of each child.

    Every preschool should also be equipped with adequate and appropriate education material suited to that age group.

 

Primary and Secondary School Education

  • Every child has the right to a primary and secondary education in an environment that is conducive to learning.

  • Corporal puninshment and all forms of emotional abuse should be wiped out of schools.

  • Schools must be 'child friendly'.

  • All students entering primary school should be given mental health checks and should be monitored for signs of abuse.  If a child indicates any form of abuse, the teacher should make a report to the Principal and that report should be forwarded to the Ministry of Education where it must be addressed.  This includes giving the child the necessary mental health checks and checking out the home and where necessary provide mandatory training for parents and any help that the home might need to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the child.

  • School rules should be sensible and children must be encouraged to respect all school rules including rules pertaining to uniforms and conduct.

  • Children should be encouraged to get involved in school activities and to form positive relationships with their peers and teachers.

  • Parents must make it a priority to meet the teachers teaching their children and to keep updated with what is happening in the schools.

  • Negative behaviours must be addressed by parents without hesitation.

  • Schools must be school friendly and should be a place where children look forward to going every morning.

 

Strengthen Youth’s Skills

  • Every child should be given the opportunity to participate in activities that will develop their skills in areas in which they might be interested.  This can be in sports, any of the art forms, volunteering or a service club.

  • Children should be allowed to participate in programs or competitions that can boost self confidence and skills and that would allow them to work with positive peers like themselves.

  • Commitment to school (an investment in school and in doing well at school)

  • Close relationships with non-deviant peers

  • Membership in positive peer groups such as  - athletic clubs, choirs, youth orchestras, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Interact Club, Key Club, are just a few and they are all found at schools.