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Eight in ten youth feel unsafe

Published on 10/05/2007

10 May 2007

BRUSSELS – Almost six in ten youth have been confronted with violence at some point, according to a survey by a youth newspaper. More than eight in ten regularly feel unsafe

Teenagers are therefore “arming” themselves more often, both figuratively and literally. Almost 20 percent of young people say they sometimes have a weapon on them.

The deaths of teenagers like Annick, Joe (victim of the MP3 murder) and Bart (stabbed to death in Ostend by another youth) affect young people more than we realise sometimes.

The survey of 550 students revealed that 57 percent has either fallen victim, or knows someone who has fallen victim, to brutality. 81.7 percent says they sometimes or regularly feel unsafe. And 17.8 percent says they sometimes or almost always have a weapon on them (like a pocket knife or pepper spray).

Juvenile criminologist Jan Deklerck says the feeling of being unsafe is due to extensive media reporting.

“In the past you would never hear about a murder in Turnhout if you lived in West-Vlaanderen. Now you read about murders that have taken place 5,000 km away.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news