September 14, 2008
Today’s Violence and Its Many Causes
Violence in today’s society is at an all time high. There are many causes for the increase in violence in our society. Violence is defined by (1) criminal law, the illegal use of unjustified force, or the intimidating effect created by the threat of this (2) the use of physical force to injure somebody or damage something (Encarta Dictionary: English – North American Version). Rape, homicide, assault and burglary with a weapon are all forms of malicious legal violence that plague our communities in irrevocable ways. In fact violence in the form of homicide is the second leading cause in youth ages fifteen to twenty-four, third leading cause in ages twenty-five to thirty-four, and the fourth leading cause of ages one to nine (American College of Emergency Physicians, First Aid, CPR, and AED, 5th Edition Text Book, Page Three). Violence being the leading cause of death for children, adolescents and young adults is more prevalent than disease, cancer or congenital disorders. In Florida alone, violent habitual offenders admitted to state prisons increased 64% from January 2008 to May 2008 and 32.8% of offenders released are readmitted within three years (Trends in Prison Admissions Report. July 2008. Florida Department of Corrections. Page 72.) Although there are many contributing factors for this increase I will focus on the break up of the family home, decline in values by our media and the increase in codependence.
With the breakup of the family home, more youth are growing up in an environment that does not include nor teach compassion, honesty, and a sense of consequence for ones actions. As these youth grow up, they will be more likely to commit acts of violence. Only 63% of American children grow up with both biological parents, the lowest figure in the Western world (“The State of Our Unions 2005”. The National Marriage Project at Rutgers University “Fall 2006”. 74-78.) The study also said that fatherless homes account for 90% of homeless/runaway children, 85% of children with behavior problems, 71% of high school dropouts, 85% of youths in prison, and well over 50% of teen mothers. When underage teens become young mothers to children that they can not afford, not to mention are unable to emotionally nurture, we then have two generations of youth that are stripped of possibilities and hope of a healthy prosperous future. This breeds more and more uneducated, un-nurtured individuals whom are dependant on government assistance and funding. Again, this same study states that 63% of youth suicides results from fatherless homes. Suicide is the number two leading cause of death of ages twenty-five to thirty-four and the third leading cause of death ages ten to twenty-four, it is evidently a social issue that can no longer be ignored (American College of Emergency Physicians, First Aid, CPR, and AED, 5th Edition Text Book, Page Three). Although I am not a fan of the current and past State of Florida Administration, I must commend them for the implementation of the Florida Office of Suicide Prevention created in 2006, as a part of the Florida Office of Drug Control, a cabinet of the Florida Governor’s Office. This is definitely a step in the right direction for saving lives. With the high number of youth on the streets, in our prisons, and dieing there is no denying that the breakup of the family home contributes to violence.
A gradual decline of values by our media, especially on television, radio, and print contributes to the violence through the desensitizing of its viewers. As people watch, listen, and read the increasingly violent and sexually elicit material, they become more desensitized to its horror and it becomes easier to cross the legal and moral lines. Studies say that by the time a child is eighteen years old, he or she will witness on television (with average viewing time) 200,000 acts of violence...