National Youth Violence Prevention Week Needs More Champions

stop the violenceThis week is National Youth Violence Prevention Week

As the proud father of two school-age children, I value this awareness more than ever before because it has become personal to me. I suppose that is what it takes to embrace a cause, but why can’t support in the 3Ts – time, talent, treasure – be provided without that direct connection?

Think about all the national causes that go on every day, usually unnoticed by passer-by traffic on the Internet because it’s not personal to many of the surfers. Make it personal and they stop every time, right?

And therein lies the PR component. We should create awareness because it is deserved before it is necessary, don’t you think? Here is some awareness for us all to consider…

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “youth violence refers to harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood. The young person can be a victim, an offender, or a witness to the violence.”

Did you know:

  • Homicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24 years old?
  • In 2012, more than 700,000 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained by physical assaults?
  • 28 percent of U.S. students in grades 6-12 experienced bullying?

There are many people who experience the effects of school violence and bullying, but not many to help combat it. Organizations like the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) are stalwarts for this important cause.

“A quarter century making a difference in the lives of youth is an amazing accomplishment,” said Carleen Wray, executive director of SAVE. “At the same time, there is still so much work to be done. As we celebrate National Youth Violence Prevention Week, we are more committed than ever to raising awareness and helping our youth prevent school shootings, eliminate bullying and make their schools and communities safer for everyone. In honor of our 25th anniversary, we’re asking 25,000 people to donate just one dollar each to support SAVE chapters at more than 125 schools across the nation.”

Across its 2,100 chapters in 48 states, National SAVE is trying to raise significant awareness about this plight and how people can help to stop it during National Youth Violence Prevention Week. Here’s how you can help the rest of the week:

  • Monday – Students were asked to promote respect and tolerance
  • Tuesday – Manage your anger, don’t let it manage you
  • Wednesday – Resolve conflicts peacefully
  • Thursday – Support safety
  • Friday – Unite in action

More causes need awareness because it’s what PR is supposed to do. More students need advocacy because it’s what we are all supposed to do. Consider doing what you can today.