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CONSEQUENCES | Youth Violence

Youth violence can have immediate and life-long physical, emotional, and economic consequences. It takes a huge toll on our young people, no matter if they are the victim, the aggressor, or a witness. And, it hurts everyone else in a community.

Youth violence is a leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults. Some forms of youth violence, such as bullying, slapping, or hitting, can cause severe emotional harm, nonfatal physical injuries, and long-lasting problems. Youth who experience violence also have a higher risk for other physical and mental health problems, including smoking, substance use, depression, academic problems, and suicide.

When youth violence occurs, the entire community is affected. Children cannot play outside if their neighborhoods and playgrounds are unsafe. Young people cannot learn and succeed in life if they are afraid to go to school. Violence also harms families, businesses, and other parts of a community by increasing health care costs, decreasing property values, and disrupting services.

Preventing youth violence is vital to the well-being of everyone. By understanding how youth violence affects communities and all its residents, prevention approaches can be selected to improve everyone’s health and safety.

For more information on the consequences of youth violence, please visit CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention website.