I am pleased that you are taking the time to read and learn about important global issues. Violence prevention is an important topic to research because it offers solutions to the evils of violence. Thinking about the next few steps, such as using preventative measures, helps ease the pain of horrifying truths.
The topic of violence prevention is difficult to narrow down, which was one of the problems I faced in the first few weeks of my research process. After careful thought, I decided to divide my research into three sections: Gang Violence (with a specific focus in the United States), Intrastate Violence (violence within one country’s borders), and Interstate Violence (violence between at least two countries).
Armed violence not only takes lives but also affects various facets of society, meaning it can damage entire populations over long periods of time. The best way to solve the issue is to use a multisectoral approach, which involves the coordination of different entities, including government agencies, law enforcement, community organizations, and more. For example, Los Angeles has six times as many gangs since it did in 1997 and has doubled the total number of gang members over the past 25 years, even after spending billions of dollars on the growing concern. My research has shown that cities can benefit from diverse and collaborative efforts. The implementation of gang prevention academies, which are schools set up to stop gang violence, have helped reduce the levels of violence and the number of deaths.
It is my hope that one point you take away is that the prevention of armed violence cannot be done by a sole entity. Awareness is key and to collaborate with or join an organization that already exists can have a powerful impact, whether it is related to violence prevention or not. Never close your mind to different possibilities because an open mind can go a long way.
Julio Serrano, St. Augustine High School
WorldLink 2014 Summer Intern