Local News

New findings suggest large number of Spokane's youth experienced violence in past year

SPOKANE, Wash. - New findings released Tuesday by the Spokane Regional Health District reveal that nearly half of Spokane's youth experienced at least one violence-related incident in the past year.

SRHD defines community violence as including homicide, suicide, domestic violence, sexual violence, elder abuse, child abuse, child neglect, and youth violence. Over 50,000 cases of child abuse have been confirmed in Spokane County in the past decade.

The findings suggested that black and Hispanic students were more likely than whites to report being arrested, Native American/Alaska Native students were most likely than whites to have been bullied, and females were more likely than males to experience depression.

“This landmark report paints a clear picture of the numerous and substantial impacts that violence has on human health and well-being in our community,” said SRHD Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz. “Our hope is that the information presented will serve as a vital tool to guide collaboration efforts among partners across Spokane County, and shape future funding and program initiatives to confront violence.”

Key findings revealed:
    For youth:
    -Nearly one in five Spokane County adolescents reported they seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year.
    -One-third of Spokane County adolescents experienced depression in the last year.
    -One-quarter of Spokane County adolescents reported being in a fight in the last year.
    -Students who reported abused history were 2.2 times more likely to be failing in school and were 2.7 times more likely to report a low quality of life
    -Academic failure significantly increased as the number of experiences of violence increased.
    For adults:
    In Spokane County, adults who experienced three or more traumatic events were:
    -2.1 times more likely to have mental health problems and 3.3 times as likely to have a serious mental illness.
    -1.4 times more likely to have physical activity limitations.
    -1.3 times as likely to have fair to poor overall health.
    -3.4 times more likely to be unable to work
    -1.5 times as likely to be a smoker
    -2.3 times as likely to have poor quality of life.

In a release on the findings, the health district asks “each of the many organizations and dedicated people in this community to identify how their own efforts can be renewed, re-energized, and refocused to prevent violence.”

Click to view the report, as well as the Executive Summary.