Home 4 Violence Prevention Tips
Updated January 22, 2008
Evidence-based Tips for Violence Prevention


For more information, please visit the Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center.

1. Violence Prevention needs more than quick fixes: Connect with people and
programs in your community to make a difference. Call 1-888-570-BLUE or go to www.phillyblueprint.com. Even small steps can be rewarding and a safer community will make life a little easier.
2. Give a young person your time: This is the most valuable thing you can offer to them,
to your community and to the future.


3. Being hurt can lead to later violence: Speak up to everyone who comes in contact

with youth who have been hurt. Work with friends, law enforcement, health care workers, schools, employers and court systems to help young people recover emotionally as well as physically.

4. Young people still need support after violence happens:  Be there for them,
spend more time with them, and listen if they want to talk about their feelings or worries.


5. Learn how children are hurt by violence: Injury is not just physical so give your

child a safe place and talk with them about how they feel, not just one but many times.  If you see changes in eating, sleeping, energy, acting out or seeming sad, get help from your school counselor, minister, doctor or nurse practitioner.
6. Feeling nervous, scared or worried after being hurt or seeing violence is a

normal reaction: Seek help and talk with a counselor or doctor if these feelings don't go away after a few weeks.


7. If your child is injured, it also affects you: Take time to deal with your own feelings

and turn to your family, friends, or clergy to talk about concerns and get a little more support.
8. Living with violence is very unhealthy and makes people more scared and

anxious: Even little ways to reduce everyday stress and make things safer can make a difference.


9. Young people have a lot to offer if you let them: help connect them to businesses

and organizations who can value their energy, vision and potential.


10. Focus on what you can change, not what you can’t: Be active in solving problems

and move through what is beyond your control. Talk to others about how to do this in your every day life.


11. Be a positive role model: Children and youth learn by your example, not just what

you tell them. Be fair and respectful in all you do.


12. It’s basic- treat others well:  A strong moral compass and caring about others not

only makes people happier, but also makes it easier to weather bad times.  Help young people learn to live by principles of fairness and respect.

13. Hope, excitement, and teamwork are important for young people: Encourage

these strengths in school, home, and community to help young people succeed in their goals. Get involved in your child’s schooling or in community opportunities for youth.


14. Scared straight programs can hurt young people who are dealing with violence

in their lives: A better way is to make sure young people can connect with at least one caring adult who can help them expect, do, and be better.


15. Provide opportunities for young people to get involved: Be a mentor for a young

person and show them how they can be a leader. Young people: Join your neighborhood boards, they need your advice. Adults:  Include youth in every aspect of community planning and implementation.

16. Spend time with children and youth and listen with your ears and your heart:

Find ways to eat together, play together, and celebrate together. Read to young children and help them read to you.

17. Learn and practice listening with your eyes, ears and heart: Children need you
to hear what they are saying, as well as what they can’t say right away.  They know if you are paying attention. Show you care by really listening, and listening and listening.

18. Know where your child is: Take an active role in your child’s life, knowing where he

or she "hangs out" and with whom.

19. Fight truancy: If school seems painful or unpleasant for a child – find out why and
figure out ways to help.  Ask for help from the school. If that doesn’t work, find someone to help you make a plan.
20. Keep guns out of the hands of youth:  It is safer for them and for the community.
Most youth in trouble got their first guns from family or friends. Talk to other adults and agree that guns should never be given to youth.

21. Holding a grudge hurts you: If you have been hurt, being able to forgive wrongs,

no matter how small, can help end a cycle of anger. Start small and help children (and adults) practice this.
22. Talk to your kids about guns. Don’t let them carry a gun: Appearing more
dangerous to others actually increases the chance of being severely hurt or killed.  Work together to make plans to be safer, not get caught up in trouble and to get out of risky situations.

23. Don’t buy, hold, or carry guns for friends: Not only does this help violent criminals,

but it also is dangerous and a crime with hard time.

24. Take guns out of your house and if you feel you must keep a gun, keep it
locked and unloaded: Guns are magnets for children, so hiding or forbidding them from touching one does not work. Guns are also a magnet for thieves. Work with neighbors to ask everyone to store them safely.but it also is dangerous
25. Lend a hand to new parents: Reduce their stress and help them cope better by
giving them a little breathing room. It will make it easier for them to give their child the attention, affection, rewards and limits that all children need.
26. Start or join a parents’ support group: In stressed communities, helping new

a good investment. Parenting can be overwhelming; at times having someone to talk to and learn from can make all the difference.

27. Praise children for good behavior and set clear rules and limits: Be sure they
understand the reason for the rule and let them help decide on consequences.
28. Good friends matter: Hang out with friends who are doing good things in school,

the community, and their families. Know who you are hanging out with, what they are doing, and where they are going. Adults, know these things about the people in your child’s life.

29. Make room for sports and active play: Sports can be a healthy outlet for excess

energy, take the place of hanging out with troubled peers and offer healthy role models through coaches.

30. Know the normal activities and behaviors of your child: If you should see a
change in behavior, from subtle to dramatic, pay more attention, listen and if necessary, get help.
31. Light up the neighborhood. In any neighborhood, some places and times of
night are riskier than others: Work with neighbors to make theses areas less risky. Install compact fluorescent bulbs in your outside lights, so that you can keep them on all night and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
32. Make art and beauty, not graffiti: Graffiti is a sign to criminals that they can get
away with murder. When you see graffiti on public or private property call the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network at (215) 686-0000 for the City to remove reported graffiti within 10 days. Want to express yourself? Call the Mural Arts Program at 215-685-0750.
33. Know your neighbors: Teach your child a sense of community by getting to know
your neighbors, joining activities and working with others to keep your neighborhood safe. Neighbors who know and look out for each other are among the strongest features of safer neighborhoods.
34. Use the wisdom in your community: Is there someone who does well, even in the
face of violence or troubles? Or someone who knows where to turn to really get things done? Find your local “in the know” experts to help you solve problems.
35. You have the power: For positive thinking by reminding yourself of three good things
every day. Do it at night, or make it a family tradition at dinnertime.
36. When you’re threatened: Stay calm, do not let them see that you are upset;
afterwards, talk to adults who you trust.
37. Listen to your child: If a child is bullied or threatened, take them seriously. Stay
calm, listen and talk to them, re-assure them that you will help, and model appropriate and thoughtful responses.
38. Expect Respect:  Abuse is never your fault and is not ok, no matter what a boyfriend
or girlfriend might say.  Talk to someone you trust so that they can look out for you and keep your safety in mind.
39. Practice ways to calm down – before you are in a conflict: Stop, take a breath

and tell yourself: “calm down” or “it is not worth letting him or her get to me.”

40. Emphasize non-violent behavior at home, school and playgrounds:  Remind
young people and adults that name calling or threatening is not acceptable. Adults, remember that children will do as you do.
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