Posted by: Mothers Against Teen Violence | June 23, 2008

How Has Violence Affected My Life? By Valencia King

My first thought, when I considered this question, was that violence had not affected my life in any meaningful way.  However, the more I thought about it, I could see that violence has affected my life and the lives of those in my generation in many ways.  We suffer because of increased crime and violence against kids.  Violence has affected the way we live, play and go about our daily lives.  Teenagers in the generation before us could play outside all day as long as they made it home before the street lights came on.  But my generation can’t enjoy that kind of freedom because of violence.  We don’t play outside the way our parents did.  We don’t hang out at the malls, movies, and parks the way our parents did.   We have learned to entertain ourselves at home and communicate through the new forms of media.  Increased violence has forever changed the way we live.  My grandfather tells me that they did not even have to lock their doors back in the day.  My generation will never know what that’s like, especially those of us who live in the city.  Big or small, violence affects us all.


In my opinion violence happens because people don’t have answers.  Sometimes, I think, people in desperate situations feel they don’t have anywhere to turn for help and they give up. I think people who can’t find the answers, turn to violence in frustration.  My second grade teacher, Mrs. Casterner, once said, “Violence is not the answer. Getting help is.” I agree. 


As a teenager I know that we need to have a sense of identity and we need attention. It could be that people who feel lost and forgotten may turn to violence.  My mother says, “A child will get the attention he or she needs, be it good or bad attention.”  If a kid feels that no one cares him and he’s not getting the attention he needs, he may do stupid things, not really thinking of the consequences until it’s too late.  And drugs can be a dangerous part of violence because they create a false sense of reality.  Most teenagers say that they turned to drugs because it made them forget about the problems for which they did not have answers.


If I have a friend who needs help or a shoulder to cry on, then I need to be there.  If a friend tells me that she is going to commit a crime or an act of violence, then I should try to talk her out of it and see that she gets help.  I should try to help her get the answers she seeks and show her that I care. 


The biggest way that we can all help is by talking to our friends about how violence affects us. Then they can tell their friends and soon the whole world will be talking about how violence is not the answer.  Remember, big or small, violence affects us all.  


Violence is not the answer

It is not the key

Violence does not open doors

 It only hurts you and me

Then what?

You did the crime, now you have to do the time

All for what?

You were too afraid to turn the other cheek

To afraid to ask for the help you seek


Violence is not the answer

You have options; you have choices

Use your head

Think before you leap

Don’t do something you will regret

Don’t feed into the madness

We all have problems

It’s how we solve them that makes us unique


Violence is not the answer

Help is what you seek

Stop the violence; be unique


Big or small, violence affects us all.



  1. U go girl.


  2. Ms King very good. I liked your poem. Everything you stated in your article is very true in how times have changed & how violence has become an epidemic amongst your generation. Keep being that postive teen outlet for those that need your help. You are a very special person.

  3. i love how u wrote this essay and its true u are special. thanks now i have an idea of what to write about.

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