Skip Navigation

Main sections

Skip section navigation (navigation may have changed)

Due to the lapse in government funding, only websites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. As a result, the information on this website may not be up to date and the agency will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at

Section navigation logo



A girl with a tough expression.

Violence among young people is a serious problem. Keep reading to learn more about youth violence and fights at school and what you can do to help prevent them.

Did you know?

➥ Around 2 out of 10 high school girls were in a physical fight in the past year.
➥ Nine out of 100 high school girls missed at least one day of school in the past month because they didn't feel safe.*

*according to a recent national survey

Types of violence

Youth violence can include:

  • Hitting, pinching, punching, or kicking
  • Robbery
  • Using a weapon
  • Sexual assault and rape
  • Bullying

Effects of youth violence

Every year, thousands of young people in the United States die from violence. Violence causes physical injuries, including cuts, bruises, and broken bones. Violence also causes emotional issues, such as being very afraid, nervous, or depressed. Even just seeing violence can lead to serious problems.

Violence at home

Learn what to do if someone at home is violent.

How can I stay safe from violence?

  • Choose your friends carefully. Stay away from people who are involved in violence. Also try to avoid people who have a hard time controlling how they act when angry.
  • Stick near safe adults. Hang out where teachers or other responsible adults are around. For after school, consider joining a club, sports, or volunteer activity.
  • Try to stay away from weapons.
    • If a classmate brings a gun, knife, or other weapon to school, tell a teacher or other adult right away. You can read more about weapons at school.
    • If you're out after school and someone is carrying a weapon, leave right away.
    • If you have been carrying a weapon to feel safe, talk to an adult about other ways to cope.
  • Learn about safe places. Try to find out about local places you can go when you feel in danger. These include police stations, firehouses, and libraries. Some places join a special program to help kids in danger. They post a yellow "Safe Place" sign. To find one of these, text your current location to 69866. You can also call 800-786-2929 for help.
  • Practice "safety in numbers." Try to walk in groups. If you feel in danger while walking alone, go to a place where there are other people as soon as you can.

Are you involved in violence?

It is not OK for someone to hurt you, and it is not OK for you to hurt someone else. If you are involved in violence, talk to an adult. You also can read some useful info:

Ways to help prevent violence

  • Lead by example. Be a model for peace your friends can follow.
  • Speak up. When people talk about violence, let them know you think it's not OK.
  • Share info. Suggest ways friends can avoid tough situations: staying away from drugs and alcohol and trying activities that are safe and fun, like sports or a school club.
  • Step in. If things are getting tense, see if you can help people calm down. If not, don't put yourself in danger. Get the help of an adult.
  • Lend a hand. Support other people who have been physically or emotionally hurt. That way, you may help them from lashing out as well. Plus, it's just the kind thing to do!
  • Get involved. See if your school or community has a violence prevention program. Learn more about resources for violence prevention.


Content last reviewed September 16, 2015
Page last updated November 02, 2015