Violence has always reined within the history of humankind with daily media feeds of senseless aggression constantly depicted through wars, terrorism, robberies and domestic infighting. Most of these aggressive acts have been linked to youthful gang groups and drugs as progressively more youths follow the delinquent path as family units continue to disintegrate.
Solitude, peer pressure, need to belong, esteem, and the excitement of the odds of arrest entice adolescents to join these youth gangs (Robertson, 2008). Gang violence is however more evident amongst deprived communities as membership is manifestly linked to race and social economic backgrounds.
Gang Membership and Inner City Linkage
Consequently Latinos, black youths, Russian mafia, Italian, and Irish gangs amid others emerge from the inner city low income communities. Nonetheless, gang membership amongst youth is directly linked to incidences of domestic violence which tend to alienate adolescent kids thus their inclination to enjoin the street families to escape the aggression at home.
A 2006 study by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice on school violence depicted the extent and prevalence of aggressive acts in schools although the National Youth Violence Prevention Center (NYVPC) has conversely reported declines (CRF, 2011).
Within schools, 5.9 percent schoolchildren are likely to arm themselves with knives or firearms as 12.4 percent reported being attacked physically while 5.5 admitted absconding from school to escape attacks (Dinkes et al. 2007).
Gang and Crime Preventative Programs
Access to weapons by children has been linked to youth violence as has cyber abuse, violent video games, media violence, with race and ethnicity plus economic background also cited as factors in fostering aggressive attitudes amongst youths.
The underlying factors that motivate adolescents to deviate into juvenile delinquency have however been taken up by many organizations to educate and offer mentorship to children lacking parental support. Many federal, State, community and other non-governmental programs have thus been launched to fight crime gangs’ ensnarement (OJJDP, 2007).
The National Center for PTSD advocates for greater parental care to arrest the pull of gangs that attract children from dysfunctional homes. Additionally community leaders and peers should be incorporated in assisting the youths in mentorship programs. Similarly they have highlighted the often ignored invasive corrosive acts of community violence on children and teenagers in school and streets perpetuated by aggressive gang members.
Approximately a third of children aged 6 – 10 are likely to face direct violence while three quarters within the more violent neighborhoods are attacked. Indirect community violence is more severe but largely undetected or reported even as the effects on abuse not only traumatize the children but also their parents who tend to blame themselves for not offering sufficient protection (ehow.com, 2011).
Statistics on domestic violence indicate that adolescent victims of domestic violence tend to inexplicably become future aggressors routinely subjecting their own families to the same cycle of brutality they underwent. Thus there is always an urgent need by mentors, social workers and other professionals to break this cycle from one generation to another (Robertson, 2008).
The federal government has made valiant efforts to contain youth delinquency with numerous programs and websites targeting the youth. Similarly community based faith programs have being launched in sustained fight to steer adolescents from gangs (OJJDP, 2007).
There is need to prevent children from being enticed by street gangs to violent acts especially amongst inner city neighborhoods. To prevent community and domestic violence which are often byproducts of gang violence, societies require awareness, support and community campaigns that address the root cause of the problems.
Initiating programs in the community affected including sports, drama and with schools can actively engage them. Gang dress codes should be suppressed while patrols and monitoring of activities of the gangs will isolate them.
CRF. (2011). Causes of School Violence. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from Constitutional Rights Foundation Website (CRF): http://www.crf-usa.org/school-violence/causes-of-school-violence.html
Dinkes, R., Cataldi, E.F., Lin-Kelly, W., & Snyder, T. D. (2007). Indicators of school violence and safety 2007. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from National Center for Education statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics.:
ehow.com. (2011). How to Stop Gang Violence. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from ehow.com:
OJJDP. (2007). AT Risk: Youth and Gang Prevention. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP):
Robertson, C. (2008). Domestic Violence, Gangs, and Other Forms of Abuse: How to Stop the Cycle. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from Majon.com:
The Coalition Against Domestic & Community Violence. (n.d.). The Coalition Against Domestic and Community Violence of Greater Chattanooga. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from The Coalition Against Domestic & Community Violence Website: http://www.dvcchatt.8m.com/
The National Center for PTSD. (2011). Community Violence: Effects on Children and Teens. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from The National Center for PTSD