gun violence studies and statistics

  1. Characteristics of school violence preventions programs
  2. Discouraging Gang Participation
  3. Handgun Violence and Mental Illness A Health Professional Guide
  4. School Violence On the Rise
  5. Stop School Violence Before it's Epidemic
  6. Violence Prevention Resource Manual (Order Form)

Discouraging Gang Participation

Safe America

Parents CAN discourage their children from joining a violent gang by being aware of specific behaviors that may be exhibited. While it is normal for some children to "want to belong" to a gang because of the good feelings that come from belonging to a special group, help them deal with peer pressure by remembering these tips from the National Crime Prevention Council. Communication is the key. Learn about gangs and recognize these specific behaviors:

  1. Wearing specific colors or emblems or wearing certain kinds and colors of clothing in very specific ways.
  2. Use of special hand signals.
  3. Wearing or drawing gang symbols-on walls as graffiti or on books, paper or clothing.
  4. Possessing unexplained relatively large sums of money.
  5. Declining grades and interest in school.
  6. Staying out without a good reason.
  7. "Hanging" with known or suspected gang members.
  8. Carrying weapons.
Practice these important parenting skills:
  1. Talk with and listen to your child. Spend special time with each child.
  2. Encourage education and help your child to do his/her best in class.
  3. Help your child identify positive role models-especially people in your community.
  4. Encourage your child to be involved in supervised, positive group activities.
  5. Praise your son or daughter for doing well.
  6. Know your child's friends/family and what they are doing. Keep the lines of communication open.

The Safe America Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to injury prevention and the practice of good safety habits through the distribution of safety products and innovative educational programs. For more information call: 770-218-0071 or email:

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Seven Characteristics of Promising School Violence Prevention Programs

After extensively reviewing school-based programs to prevent violence, the U.S. General Accounting Office identified the following seven characteristics as being associated with the most promising interventions:

Comprehensive Approach

These programs recognize violence as a complex problem that requires a multifaceted response. Consequently, they address more than one problem area and involve a variety of services that link schools to the community

Early Start and Long-Term Commitment

There is a focus on

  1. reaching young children to shape attitudes, knowledge, and behavior while they are still open to positive influences
  2. sustaining the intervention over multiple years (for example, from kindergarten through 12th grade)

Strong Leadership and Disciplinary Policies

Leadership is strong at the school level. Principals and school administrators need to sustain stable funding, staff, and program components, and, most important, they must collaborate with others to reach program goals. In addition, student disciplinary policies are clear and consistently applied.

Staff Development

Key school administrators, teachers, and staff are trained to handle disruptive students and mediate conflict as well as understand and incorporate prevention strategies into their school activities.

Parental Involvement

The schools seek to increase parental involvement in reducing violence by providing training on violence prevention skills, making home visits, and enlisting parents as volunteers.

Interagency Partnerships and Community Linkages

The schools seek community support in making school antiviolence policies and programs work. To accomplish this, they develop collaborative agreements in which school personnel, local businesses, law enforcement officers, social service agencies, and private groups work together to address the multiple causes of violence.

Culturally Sensitive and Developmentally Appropriate Materials and Activities

Program materials and activities are designed to be compatible with:

  1. students' cultural values and norms by using bilingual materials and culturally appropriate program activities, role models, and leaders, and
  2. participants' age and level of development

From U.S. General Accounting Office. School Safety: Promising Initiatives for Addressing School Violence. Washington, DC: US General Accounting Office, 1995.

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Stop School Violence Before It's Epidemic

Safe America

School's in. Last year's headlines exposed the frightening reality of violent episodes that children are exposed to in schools. Schools and parents have to become more proactive in teaching our youngsters how to cope with frustration and hostility and how to resolve conflicts without fighting. We need early intervention programs that teach students how to solve interpersonal problems for themselves. Dr. Wallace S. Woodard, Vice President for Programs and Research at the Safe America Foundation suggests the following six-step procedure to curb violence before it's out of control:

  1. Establish a neutral location where conflicting parties agree to meet with mediator.
  2. Allow conflicting parties to air their points of view without interruption or judgment.
  3. Find their common interests.
  4. Facilitate win-win options so each participant can gain a positive point in the solution.
  5. Have parties develop criteria that each will agree on as basis for the solution.
  6. Create an agreement, in writing, with signed copies for all.

The Safe America Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to injury prevention and the practice of good safety habits through the distribution of safety products and innovative educational programs. For more information call: 770-218-0071 or email:

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Violence Prevention Resource Manual


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