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How to Organize Your Community Against Youth Violence

Community Organizing to Prevent Youth Violence

Everyone Can Participate in Youth Violence Prevention!

You may ask yourself – what can I do to prevent youth violence? Join thousands of youth and community members for National Youth Violence Prevention Week to take action and make a difference.

Community outreach and youth empowerment are two cornerstones of preventing youth violence. Start by understanding the causes. Then, below you will find specific actions you can take to address the main causes of youth and teenage violence.

What Causes Teen and Youth Violence?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)1, 13 youth die every day due to violence. Further, 1 in 5 high school students report that they have been victims of bullying. While the individual causes of teen and youth violence are varied, there are key risk factors. Social isolation, being a victim of violence, and emotional distress can all be risk factors for youth acting out violently.

What Can You Do to Prevent Youth Violence? 

The good news is, there are protective measures you can take to reduce those risks. The first thing is – know the signs. These can be learned through our no-cost educational programs and our top warning signs of violence.

Next, get your community involved. Studies show community organizing to prevent youth violence works. In fact, one study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that students in high-risk communities with violence prevention programs were less likely to engage in violence than the general population.2

Tips for Community Organizing Activities to Prevent Youth Violence


Parents and Caregivers

  • Work with your Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or similar group in your community to organize events for around key moments, including Start With Hello Week and National Safe Schools Week.
  • Review the Sandy Hook Promise warning signs checklist with your children and have discussions about what they are seeing online and who their trusted adults are.


Senior Citizens

  • Generate a letter writing campaign to support and secure support for local violence prevention programs.
  • Volunteer at a local youth-based organization or as a foster grandparent. Learn more.

Community-Based Organizations

  • Promote SAVE Promise Club through your organization’s social networks, website, newsletter, and beyond.
  • Host an in-person or virtual youth violence prevention conference and invite all stakeholders from the community. Schedule opportunities for youth to present and lead circle discussions.
  • Give youth a platform to reach out to other youth, community agencies, first responders, politicians, and parents to develop an action plan for preventing violence community-wide.

Colleges and Universities

  • Volunteer to work with local youth organizations in your communities to prevent youth violence.
  • Join Promise Leaders in your community to take action. Get involved.

First Responders

  • Host a community event to build connections with local youth organizations.
  • Partner with schools to deliver violence prevention and safety presentations.


  • Inform constituents about National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW) and publicly recognize the campaign with an official proclamation. Download now.
  • Learn about our model school safety legislation. Get the details.


  • Promote SAVE Promise Club and NYVPW on your business website, marquee, or billboard.
  • Donate books, resources, and professional development funds to local schools to support their efforts in violence prevention.


  • Support programming and events that provide safe spaces for youth.
  • Host a community discussion on peace and nonviolence.


  • Distribute research-based mental health strategies in your office or on your website.
  • Host mindfulness or stress-mitigation seminars for community youth.


  • Promote and cover Sandy Hook Promise activities that are happening in your community. Visit our newsroom.
  • Publish students’ Letters-to-the-Editors about proactive ways they are preventing violence and the support needed from the broader community.

You Can Help Address the Causes of Youth Violence

Violence is preventable when you know the signs and organize your community. No matter what your role is in the community, there are actions you can take to have safer schools and neighborhoods. What’s more, you’re helping the future of your community by lifting up local teens and youth. So join us for National Youth Violence Prevention Week. Together, we can prevent youth violence!