National Public Health week: In the community: Safety is everyone's business

There are many components to community safety, and an important one you can take part in is stemming violence in our community. For many people, violence is a daily occurrence and many suffer silently. It is important to be proactive and help grow a community in which those who are victims can receive the help they need, and violence is not accepted.

The statistics surrounding violence in our country are sobering. Youth violence is the second leading cause of death for young people in the United States. One in five high school students report having been bullied at school and over 30 percent report having been in a fight. In 2006, more than 700,000 young people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to assault. One in four teens report verbal, physical, sexual or emotional abuse from a dating partner.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 50,000 people die as a result of violence each year in the United States. That number is almost equal to the population of Carson City.

Often, we are lulled into a sense of complacency because we live in a small, safe town. However, in 2010, 116 simple and aggravated assaults were reported to the Carson City Sheriff's Office. It is likely that many violent acts go unreported because victims fear retaliation from their abusers.

There are ways that you can help prevent violence in our community. Be sure that any firearms and ammunition in your home are not accessible to children. Participate in Neighborhood Watch programs that can help reduce burglary and other crimes in your neighborhood. Break the cycle by mentoring a child - teach them that violence is not OK.

Bullying and domestic violence is a real problem in every community. Not only is it National Public Health Week, April is also Sexual Assault Month. This is another form of violence, and the teal ribbons you may have seen downtown are in place to remind people that sexual assault happens in Carson City. If you see violence, please speak up. If you are experiencing violence, please know that people are there to help.

For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycar or visit us on Facebook at Carson City Health and Human Services.


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