Talking to Teens about Violence

What are the details?

    By age 12, the average child is estimated to have witnessed more than 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on network television.Nationally, homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. In this age-group, homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans. Guns are a factor in most youth homicides.  In 1999, 81% of homicide victims 15-24 were killed with firearms. Violent deaths at school represent less than 1% of all homicides and suicides that occur among school-age children.


What can you do?

  • Help teens gain skills in self-control, decision-making, problem-solving, listening and communication.
  • Encourage and promote cultural identity and acceptance of diversity.
  • Promote a positive school climate that does not tolerate violence and aggression.
  • Pay attention to school bullying.  Talk about how to recognize controlling behaviors.
  • Negotiate disagreements so that conflicts do not grow larger.
  • Be available to discuss needs, concerns, and desires.
  • Let teens know they do not deserve to be treated with violence.  Be prepared to intervene by getting assistance.
  • Talk about and foster skills on how to be safe when violence occurs.

Adapted from