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Be The Voice Against Youth Violence

I joined SADD when I was a freshman in high school. At the time, I did not know what SADD stood for, but I thought it would be a great way to make new friends and have a positive impact on my community. Through monthly meetings and after-school engagement activities, I soon learned more about SADD’s mission. 


If you asked me last week, I would probably say confidently that I know exactly what SADD advocates for and inspires teens across the country to do. However, I have discovered that more so than just promoting mental health and driving safety, SADD also works extremely hard to prevent youth violence. Even as a member of the National Student Leadership Council, when I heard about SADD’s initiatives to prevent youth violence on a national level I was surprised. I was not surprised that SADD was working so hard to protect public health and safety, but surprised that I did not know much about the issue. This led me to deep dive into the issue, its causes, and what is being done to stop it. 


Youth violence is the intentional use of physical force or verbal attack to threaten or harm others. This can include cyberbullying, threats with weapons, and physical fighting. After informing myself on the issue, it was easy to picture moments of youth violence that I saw in movies, plays, and even real life. I vividly remember when one of my friends won our school’s Student of the Month Award. I was extremely excited for her, since she worked very hard on one of our food collections. She told me that she had been receiving anonymous text messages that said she was not deserving of the award and that she should stop leading this collection. I knew that as a friend, and SADD student, it was only right for me to encourage her to block the phone number, tell a trusted adult, and ignore the negativity. These text messages were a form of youth violence. When my friend refused to tell her mom because she was scared about what would happen, I called her mother for her and explained the situation. In the end, my friend found comfort by continuing her service to our community and spending time with those closest to her. My friend's mom even thanked me for stopping the chain of violence by telling her what was going on. 


Unfortunately, youth violence can be seen across our country. As SADD students, we can help stop this chain of events and be a force for good. All it takes is a comforting smile and a voice that stands up for what is right.


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June is National Safety Month. Learn more about how you can stay safe and advocate for the safety of others at sadd.org/programs.


Remember, it costs $0 to be kind.


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