The Center to Prevent Youth Violence

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The Center to Prevent Youth Violence (CPYV), formerly known as PAX, was co-founded in 1998 by Daniel Gross and Talmage Cooley, with the mission of ending the crisis of youth violence in America.[1] Daniel Gross is now the President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

CPYV develops focused and empowering public health and safety campaigns that promote the simple steps parents, kids and others can take to prevent violence affecting youth,[2] including gang-related and other urban violence; school shootings; suicides, accidents and homicides involving firearms which claim the lives of eight children and teens every day.[3]

Parent-focused Programs[edit]

CPYV has created two parent-focused problems aimed at educating parents about simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of violence affecting their children.


The ASK Campaign was launched in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics with the goal of encouraging parents to ask if there are guns where their children play (i.e. the homes of friends and relatives).[4] The ASK Campaign includes television and radio public service announcements and collateral materials that inform parents and inspire them to ask about the presence of firearms in the homes where their children play.[5] If the answer is yes, then parents are encouraged to make sure they are stored securely in a place that is inaccessible to children.[6] Community-based ASK Campaigns have been implemented in Rockford, IL[7] and in Portland, OR.[8]

The ASK Campaign is also observed nationally on National ASK Day, June 21 of each year.[9][10] In 2011 a major ASK Day event was held in Miami, Florida in response to the recently passed ban on physicians asking their patients about the presence firearms in the home.[11] The event encouraged parents to ask themselves, since physicians were restricted in their ability to do so. The ban has since been blocked.[12]

Suicide-Proof Your Home[edit]

The Suicide-Proofing Initiative was launched in September 2011 in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health under a youth suicide prevention grant from SAMHSA.[13] This program is based on research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, which illustrates that preventing youth access to lethal means of suicide, such as firearms, reduces the likelihood that a young person will die from suicide.[14] The Suicide-Proofing Initiative includes TV and radio public service announcements, mass awareness materials, and a website,, all of which are aimed at educating parents of adolescents and teens about simple steps they can take around their homes to reduce the risk of a suicide occurring.[15]

Youth-focused Programs[edit]

CPYV believes that young people have the power to prevent violence. The SPEAK UP campaign and hotline give youth the tools and motivation to help keep their communities safe.

Speak Up[edit]

The Speak Up Campaign was launched in 2002 based on the insight that in the vast majority of incidences of youth violence, young people who are not involved in the violence know what is going to happen before it does.[16] Speak Up targets youth with a message encouraging them to “speak up” about threats of violence they hear about, either by telling an adult who can help or by calling 1-866-SPEAK-UP, an anonymous, national hotline maintained by CPYV. Speak Up programs are currently being implemented in New York City;[17][18] Minneapolis;[19] Cumberland County, NC;[20] Lindale, TX; Berkeley, CA;[21] and Waldron, AR.


1-866-SPEAK-UP is national hotline for students to anonymously report threats of violence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline is operated in accordance with a rigid protocol developed in collaboration with national education and law enforcement authorities. Trained counselors collect information from callers and then immediately report the threat to appropriate school and law enforcement officials. The counselors also have access to an extensive database of local, city, and state referral sources, which they can offer callers who call with issues unrelated to youth violence.[22]