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United in Action

In this final post in our Youth Violence Prevention Week series, we are called to Unite in Action. We are called to create “a positive sense of community and developing concern for others.” Not only does this instill youth with qualities beyond violence prevention, but they learn to develop compassion, care, and concern for others.

The best way to gain a positive sense of community is to get involved with your community. If you’re like me, you learn by doing, not just being told “this is how it works.” Sure, you can listen to people tell you that you can make a difference, but when you put yourself out there and give back, the feeling you get when you are making a difference speaks for itself.

Very much like stranger safety, developing a concern for others, is age sensitive. Younger children, age 6 and under, often care most about themselves and hardly pay attention to their actions, even if they harm others. As they grow older, they steadily learn the consequences of their actions and attempt to avoid the punished behavior.

By teaching children young about giving back and having a concern for others, they reap the benefits throughout their adolescence and adulthood. Community involvement gives children an immense amount of learning experience and social skills that will also stick with them and build confidence. You can never do too much of a good deed.
All information regarding Youth Violence Prevention Week information can be found at http://www.nyvpw.org.

My conclusion? We all have to realize that youth violence is out there, and it is prevalent whether we are aware of it or not. Creating awareness and understanding allows youth to understand the signs, realize the impact, and become informed of how to properly handle situations, whether regarding themselves or their peers.

Youth Violence Prevention Week may only be five days. Remember that brutally beaten 18 year old I mention on Day 1? It only took 5 minutes for him to die in a ditch.

My thoughts and prayers are still with the family until this day.

Violent acts are senseless acts. Violence does not prove anything. The traits that prove a respected individual are intelligence, self-pride, determination, perseverance and honesty. Violence proves a weak and intimidated individual. It proves they have a fear of criticism or improvement. A violent individual proves that they are comfortable controlling, manipulating, and harming others. That will never change. No jail sentence will change their minds. At least it’s not likely.

It does not matter the age of the abuser. Any individual is capable of harm. When it comes to Youth Violence Prevention Week, the goal is to educate and prevent. Hop on the bandwagon and set yourself up for a better future and a better life for you and those around you.

Brittney Nowak
AWP Intern

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