Youth Violence

In 2010, homicide was the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24 years old.  Among 10 to 24 year-olds, 86% of homicide victims were male and 14% were female in 2010.  In the same 2010 CDC report, among homicide victims ages 10 to 24 years of age, 84% were killed with a firearm.  Homicide is the leading cause of death for African American youth and the second leading cause of death among Hispanic youth.

In a 2008, a CDC study reports, juveniles accounted for 16% of all violent crime arrests and 26% of all property crime arrests.  This report indicated that in 2008, 1,280 juveniles were arrested for murder, 3,340 for forcible rape, and 56,000 for aggravated assault.

For students in grades 9 – 12, 31.5% reported being in a physical fight in the past 12 months, with prevalence higher among males (39.3%) than females (22.9%).  17.5% of youth grades 9 – 12 reported carrying a weapon (gun, knife, or club) on one or more days in the past 30 days of taking the CDC survey, and almost 6% reporting they have carried a gun on one or more days in the past 30 days.

School associated violence is a dire concern in our nation.  11.1% of students grades 9 – 12 were in a physical fight on school property in the past 12 months of taking the survey.  Of students grades 9 – 12, 5% reported they did not go to school because they did not feel safe either at school or on their way home from school.  Almost 6% of all students surveyed grades 9 – 12 reported carrying a weapon (gun, knife, or club) on school property on one or more occasions in the past 30 days of taking the survey.  7.7% of all students surveyed reported they have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property on one or more occasions in the past 12 months.  Almost 20% of all students surveyed reported being bullied on school property in the past 12 months, with prevalence higher among females (21.2%) than males (18.7%).

From 1999 – 2006, most school-associated homicides included gunshot wounds (65%), stabbing or cutting (27%), and beating (12%).  From 1992 – 2006, 116 students were killed in 109 separate incidents – an average of 16.5 student homicides each year.

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