Each year, more than 50,000 people lose their lives to violence. In addition to the tremendous physical and emotional toll, violence has substantial medical and lost productivity costs. In 2000, these totaled more than $70 billion in the United States. The figure grows when we add criminal justice system costs, social services, and other expenses.
Youth are disproportionately affected by violence. For young people aged 15 to 24, homicide is the second leading cause of death, and suicide is the third leading cause of death.