If you follow the news, you’re no stranger to news about violence among young people.
Further, you’re familiar with the fact that that violence is not restricted to any one place. It may have happened on the streets, in their homes and, unfortunately, sometimes even in their schools.
Regardless of the location, one thing is certain and that is that violence can happen to anyone.
Another thing that people who research the problem agree on, though, is that certain behaviors put people at a higher than average risk of either being injured or injuring others.
These researchers have even listed in their survey some of the things that are more apt to get the young people they studied in trouble.
Among those things they found, for example, that it’s not wise to associate with peers who may frequently engage in illegal activities or who have attitudes about violence that are inappropriate. They found that that may include romantic relationships where male abuse and domination of women is accepted.
It’s not necessary to point out that the use of alcohol or drugs have a strong potential for causing problems. That includes associating with friends who do.
It’s known that the use of alcohol and drugs are a large part of many violent situations because they inhibit common sense. People under the influence of either are more likely to become involved in fights of a physical nature.
According to a report from the U.S. Justice Department, young people who carry weapons believe they do so for protection.
Actually, it’s been found that they often turn an otherwise harmless argument into one with severe injuries or even death. Not possessing a weapon is best.
Even in the absence of a weapon, though, physically fighting to solve a problem sometimes results in youth homicides when young people don’t know how to get out of a situation.
Involvement in gang activity is another high risk behavior that can cause problems for young people who join them in the mistaken belief it offers them protection.
However, gang involvement in drug dealing, weapons and other illegal activities increases the potential for violence from rival gangs.
Dropping out of school and being unemployed may cause boredom resulting in getting into trouble.
An appearance of vulnerability can cause problems. Being proud of certain possessions and displaying expensive jewelry or other valuables can result in being attacked for them. Walking alone in unsafe places is not wise as is having contact including conversation with potential attackers.
Practicing tolerance towards people who are different is beneficial since violent hate crimes are often based on prejudice and bigotry towards people of a different race, religion or gender.
While we can’t always control everything in our surroundings, these are some of the things we can use to minimize or offset their consequences. There may well be others but these are worth thinking about.