Violence Prevention

Youth violence is a public health problem that affects thousands of young people each day, and in turn, their families, schools, and communities.

Youth violence is connected to other forms of violence, including child abuse and neglect, teen dating violence, adult intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and suicide.

The good news is youth violence is preventable. 

Protective factors may lessen the likelihood of youth violence victimization or perpetration. 

BVSD's prevention programming is focused on increasing Protective Factors and reducing Risk Factors

School Violence

What is school violence?

School violence describes violent acts that disrupt learning and have a negative effect on students, schools, and the broader community.

Examples of violent behavior include:

  • Bullying
  • Fighting (e.g., punching, slapping, kicking)
  • Weapon use
  • Cyberbullying
  • Gang violence

Places school violence occurs:

  • On school property
  • On the way to or from school
  • During a school-sponsored event
  • On the way to or from a school-sponsored event


What is Bullying?

What Is Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

What Is Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

Click here for more information and resources on Bullying 

Teen Dating Violence

What is Dating Violence?

What Is Dating Violence

Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. As explained by The National Center for the Victims of Crime, it can happen in straight or gay relationships. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or a combination.

Anyone can be a victim of dating violence. Both boys and girls are victims, but boys and girls abuse their partners in different ways.

Girls are more likely to yell, threaten to hurt themselves, pinch, slap, scratch, or kick.

Boys injure girls more and are more likely to punch their partner and force them to participate in unwanted sexual activity. Some teen victims experience physical violence only occasionally; others, more often.

Warning Signs

Controlling behavior may include:

  • Not letting you hang out with your friends
  • Calling or paging you frequently to find out where you are, whom you're with, and what you're doing
  • Telling you what to wear
  • Having to be with you all the time

Verbal and emotional abuse may include:

  • Calling you names
  • Jealousy
  • Belittling you (cutting you down)
  • Threatening to hurt you, someone in your family, or himself or herself if you don't do what he or she wants.

Physical abuse may include:

  • Shoving
  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Pinching
  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Hair pulling
  • Strangling

Sexual abuse may include:

  • Unwanted touching and kissing
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Not letting you use birth control
  • Forcing you to do other sexual things

If You Are a Victim of Dating Violence, You Might…

  • Think it's your fault.
  • Feel angry, sad, lonely, depressed, or confused.
  • Feel helpless to stop the abuse.
  • Feel threatened or humiliated.
  • Feel anxious.
  • Not know what might happen next.
  • Feel like you can't talk to family and friends.
  • Be afraid of getting hurt more seriously.
  • Feel protective of your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Preventing Dating Violence

Being a victim of dating violence is not your fault. Nothing you say, wear, or do gives anyone the right to hurt you.

If you think you are in an abusive relationship, get help immediately.

Don't keep your concerns to yourself.

Talk to someone you trust like a parent, teacher, school principal, counselor, or nurse.

If you choose to tell, you should know that some adults are mandated reporters. This means they are legally required to report neglect or abuse to someone else, such as the police or child protective services. You can ask people if they are mandated reporters and then decide what you want to do. Some examples of mandated reporters are teachers, counselors, doctors, social workers, and in some cases, coaches or activity leaders. If you want help deciding whom to talk to, call a crisis line in your area. You might also want to talk to a trusted family member, a friend’s parent, an adult neighbor or friend, an older sibling or cousin, or other experienced person who you trust.
Help Yourself
Think about ways you can be safer. This means thinking about what to do, where to go for help, and who to call ahead of time.
Where can you go for help?
Who can you call?
Who will help you?
How will you escape a violent situation?
Here are other precautions you can take:
Let friends or family know when you are afraid or need help.
When you go out, say where you are going and when you'll be back.
In an emergency, call 911 or your local police department.
Memorize important phone numbers, such as the people to contact or places to go in an emergency.
Keep spare change, calling cards, or a cell phone handy for immediate access to communication.
Go out in a group or with other couples.
Have money available for transportation if you need to take a taxi, bus, or subway to escape.
Help Someone Else
If you know someone who might be in an abusive relationship, you can help.

Tell the person that you are worried.
Be a good listener.
Offer your friendship and support.
Ask how you can help.
Encourage your friend to seek help.
Educate yourself about dating violence and healthy relationships.
Avoid any confrontations with the abuser. This could be dangerous for you and your friend.