Youth Violence Prevention

What is Youth Violence?

Youth violence is when young people aged 10-24 intentionally use physical force or power to harm others. Youth can be perpetrators, victims or witnesses of violence, which may include bullying, dating violence, fights, gang violence, homicide, human trafficking and exploitation, self-directed violence (self abuse and suicide), sexual violence and threats.

Violence impacts communities across Denver and contributes to many negative health outcomes. Young people may be victims, witnesses or perpetrators of violence and experience lasting emotional and physical consequences. Because youth who experience violence are less able to contribute to Denver's community growth and are at heightened risk for experiencing violence again in the future, violence experienced and perpetrated by young people is an important public health issue.

Our work aims to reduce youth violence in Denver by ensuring a public health approach to local efforts, improving collaboration among agencies addressing violence-related issues, and creating a road map for coordinated, strategic youth violence prevention efforts. We do this in collaboration with Denver Health's violence prevention efforts.

Since August 2015, Denver Public Health has facilitated a youth violence prevention coalition made up of a core group of partners at city and state agencies, community organizations, universities and healthcare providers. This effort is unique in bringing a public health approach focused on the shared risk and protective factors that cut across all forms of youth violence, rather than addressing separate forms of violence. The coalition will expand in 2017 to engage more partners and start the process of creating a comprehensive, cross-sector, and community-informed strategic plan to prevent youth violence in Denver.