Increasing family conflict due to:
→ Parents childhood experiences, It is possible an abuser may have witnessed domestic violence during childhood and understood violence to be a way to maintain control within a family.
→ Economic circumstances such as job loss, housing foreclosures, or debt can increase stress levels at home, which can lead to violence. Financial difficulties can also limit options for survivors to seek safety or escape.
→ Major life changes, an increased risk of domestic violence may occur during a significant shift in life, such as pregnancy or a family member’s illness. The perpetrator may feel left out or neglected and looks to find control in these situations.
→ Teens engaging in at-risk and destructive behaviors – unsupervised young participate in or be exposed to at-risk behaviors, substance abuse and crime.
→ Teens do not have an appropriate place to socialize – “Hanging out” is a normal and healthy part of adolescence. It’s a time when teens have a developmental need to identify with peers and with adults. They are also seeking knowledge and skills. If a community doesn’t provide a healthy option for teens they will find their own on the streets.
→ Lack of activities specifically for teens – Reaching and engaging teens is challenging. It is much easier to serve younger youth. Activities and programs just for teens are rare. While teens may present challenges, they desperately want to be included as a part of our community.
→ Teens want their voices to be heard – Teens need to explore their individuality and having a say or finding your voice is critical in youth engaging with adults and the community at large. Youth often feel “why should we care, we don’t count, no one listens to us, they just tell us what to do, it’s pointless, why bother.” By engaging youth, youth show them that they are a valued part of the community and their opinion matters.
→ Teens want responsibility and leadership roles – Teens want to learn, connect and experience. They have a biological drive to identify with others and the gain experience and mastery. If a community doesn’t provide healthy opportunities, youth will find them among peer groups, healthy or not.
→ Community voices concern about teen behaviors and safety – Community members have expressed frustration, anger, hopelessness and many other things when teens engage in unhealthy a destructive behavior.
→ To be proactive – We need to take a proactive approach to keeping kids safe. We can’t just sit around waiting for something bad to happen before we act. Numerous communities have seen decreases in youth loitering and violence with the opening of teen centers.