Youth violence includes various behaviors, such as fighting, bullying, gang-related violence, and homicide. These behaviors involve the intentional use of physical force or power by a young person between the ages of 10 and 24 to threaten or harm other people. Young people can be involved with violence as victims, perpetrators, or witnesses (CDC).
In North Carolina, statewide prevalence of youth violence is measured every two years using the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (NC YRBS). The survey captures a variety of self-reported violence-related behaviors and experiences, including weapon-carrying, fights, and bullying. In 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, 1 in 5 high schoolers in NC reported carrying a weapon in the past 30 days, nearly 1 in 4 reported being in a physical fight in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 reported being teased or harassed at school because someone thought they were lesbian, gay, or bisexual (YRBS, 2013). Among middle schoolers, rates of violence are equally high. More than 1 in 3 reported ever carrying a weapon, more than half have ever been in a physical fight, and nearly 1 in 10 were the victims of name calling or harassment because someone thought they were gay, lesbian, or bisexual (YRBS, 2013).
North Carolina Center for Safer Schools
STRYVE: Stryving to Prevent Youth Violence Everywhere