Interpersonal Violence

Interpersonal violence is the fourth leading cause of death in adolescents and young people globally. Its prominence varies substantially by world region. It causes nearly a third of all adolescent male deaths in low- and middle-income countries in the WHO Region of the Americas. According to the global school-based student health survey 42% of adolescent boys and 37% of adolescent girls were exposed to bullying. Sexual violence also affects a significant proportion of youth: 1 in 8 young people report sexual abuse.

Violence during adolescence also increases the risks of injury, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, mental health problems, poor school performance and dropout, early pregnancy, reproductive health problems, and communicable and noncommunicable diseases.

Effective prevention and response strategies include promoting parenting and early childhood development; addressing school-based bullying prevention, programmes that develop life and social skills, and community approaches to reduce access to alcohol and firearms. Effective and empathetic care for adolescent survivors of violence, including ongoing support, can help with the physical and psychological consequences.