Youth violence is preventable. Learn how STRYVE helps communities build comprehensive strategies that are based on the best available evidence and implemented through multisector action.
Youth violence is a public health crisis in the United States. Based on the most recent data available, approximately 20 percent of high school students report being bullied at school, and more than 30 percent report being in a physical fight. More than 656,000 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from violence in 2008. Homicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, with an average of 16 youth murdered every day.
Youth Violence Is Preventable
Fortunately, there are multiple strategies that research and community experience have demonstrated work to prevent youth violence. Research shows that reducing factors that place youth at risk for violence and strengthening factors that protect youth from violence can be achieved. Approaches proven to effectively address these factors are available, and a growing body of evidence indicates these approaches can be cost-effective and have long-lasting benefits.
Putting an end to youth violence, however, is neither simple nor quick. To be effective, communities need a continuum of approaches that span from prevention to response and that are applied from early childhood through adulthood. Prevention strategies work to keep violence from starting by promoting youth’s skills, supportive relationships, and healthy and safe communities and society.
STRYVE: Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere
STRYVE, or Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere, is a national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent youth violence before it starts.
STRYVE’s vision is safe and healthy youth who can achieve their full potential as connected and contributing members of thriving, violence-free families, schools, and communities.
STRYVE seeks to increase awareness that youth violence can and should be prevented, to promote the use of youth violence prevention approaches that are based on the best available evidence, and to provide guidance to communities about how to prevent youth violence.
Partnering to Prevent Youth Violence Everywhere
Effective youth violence prevention requires participation and leadership from various partners. Youth violence prevention is a shared responsibility among all those who shape the many relationships and environments in which youth develop. STRYVE emphasizes collaboration among multiple sectors and disciplines, including justice, education, labor, social services, public health and safety, and youth-serving organizations. The participation of community-based organizations, residents, faith-based groups, local businesses, and youth is also important to successfully prevent violence and to promote health and safety. Each sector has a unique and important role to play in prevention, and their input, engagement, and leadership are critical to defining the problem and prioritizing and implementing youth violence prevention strategies. Partners help ensure that planning, programming, and policies will meet the unique needs of a community, support local priorities, build on existing efforts, and enhance outcomes.
In March 2011, CDC held a meeting in Washington, DC to form a STRYVE Partnership Network. The meeting, titled “Many Voices One Priority: Prevent Youth Violence,” brought together more than 35 multisector organizations, federal agencies, and nearly 20 youth representing public health, youth development, justice, education, social work, and research. These multisector partners have a common focus on promoting the health and safety of youth, but vary in their approaches. Through their collaboration, these partners will help highlight the potential and benefits of prioritizing prevention and help communities take advantage of the evidence base to effectively prevent youth violence before it starts. The goals of the STRYVE Partnership Network are to
- Engage in communication activities at the national, state, and local levels to increase public awareness that youth violence can and should be prevented,
- Enable communities to select and implement youth violence prevention strategies that are based on the best available evidence,
- Support communities in using STRYVE Online to enable local multisector coalitions to strategically plan and effectively implement comprehensive youth violence prevention approaches, and to
- Empower professional from all sectors, community leaders, families, and young people to use their unique roles, abilities, and resources to prevent youth violence.
Providing the Tools to Prevent Youth Violence Everywhere
Effective youth violence prevention also requires information about what has worked and how successful strategies can be replicated and sustained. A cornerstone of STRYVE is guidance on actions that communities can take to strategically plan, implement prevention approaches, and evaluate activities. STRYVE provides community tools through mechanisms such as STRYVE Online which offers community leaders and others working to prevent youth violence:
- Access to the latest information and tools,
- Effective strategies based upon the best available evidence,
- Training and technical assistance,
- Online community workspaces, and
- Connections to other communities.