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A startling statistic: Nearly half of kids in Spokane County have experienced violence

A startling statistic: Nearly half of...

SPOKANE, Wash. - A report released by the Spokane Regional Health District highlights a bitter reality for many youth in Spokane County.

In the past year, nearly half of Spokane's youth experienced at least one violence-related incident, and one quarter of them reported being in a physical fight.

"There's always somebody trying to pick a fight with you," said Rodgers high school sophomore Daryus Culbert.

Violence turns into trauma.

"You take all that trauma they've been experiencing, and you go 'no wonder they're so angry,'" said Jennifer DeRuwe, Spokane Police Community Outreach Officer.  

DeRuwe understands the cause and effect of teen violence and knows it often stems from issues at home- and that those issues can drive violence elsewhere.

Since 2014, dozens of Spokane police officers have dedicated time, and heart to positively influence young lives in a program called Youth Police Initiative.

"We talk about choices, we talk about issues facing teens, sort of their expectations of law enforcement, as well as expectations law enforcement have of teens."

The program allows teens and officers to find common ground, and friendship- a proactive approach to change attitude, and hopefully deter violence.

If you would like to view the full report on violence released by Regional Health, click here.