A recent survey conducted by the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) suggests that at least one fifth of children have missed school due to fear of violence in the past year. The survey of over 7,500 children showed that 16% of children aged 13-17 have reported being a victim of violence. According to the children’s commissioner, knife crime and violence were the main concerns raised by young people. The YEF is committed to understanding the experiences of children and preventing youth violence. In partnership with the Home Office, they have been working to provide support to areas with high levels of violence.
The survey found that 1,244 children in England and Wales reported being a victim of violence, with 20% of respondents admitting to skipping school due to feeling unsafe. The Children’s Commissioner shared that knife crime and violence were the most significant concerns raised by children. She also noted the negative impact of social media, as many children under the age of 13 have been exposed to real violence through social media platforms.
YEF utilizes direct feedback from young people to guide their decisions, and this input can influence governmental efforts as well. It was found that almost half of those who were victims of violence reported perpetrating it as well. According to the YEF’s executive director, recognizing these issues is vital in addressing violent behavior among children. Most of the perpetrators did not disclose their actions to an authoritative figure, highlighting the need for increased support and training to address violent behavior.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for children and young people emphasized the importance of building relationships with young people to address community policing issues. The government has also taken steps to implement early intervention programs and alternative provision funding in schools with the aim of supporting at-risk pupils and keeping them engaged in education.
By addressing these critical issues, organizations like the YEF and government agencies are working to create a safer environment for children to flourish.