1997-98 Academy Text Supplement

Chapter 15

Child Victimization

Statistical Overview

Research on Child Victimization

According to new research released in April of 1997 (summarized in Chapter 10 of this Supplement), researchers Kilpatrick and Saunders of the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the Medical University of South Carolina additionally have found:

Witnessing Violence

Kilpatrick's and Saunders' research measured the lifetime experience of seeing someone shot with a gun, knifed, sexually assaulted, mugged, robbed, or threatened with a weapon. The researchers did not include witnessing violence portrayed in the media -- on television, in the movies, or in print media. In measuring the lifetime experience of witnessing violence, as described above, they found:

(Kilpatrick, D. & Saunders, B. (1997, April). "Prevalence and Consequences of Child Victimization," National Institute of Justice, Research Preview.)

Child Maltreatment

In August of 1997, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) within the U.S. Department of Justice released new findings about the relationship between childhood maltreatment and subsequent adolescent problem behaviors in the research bulletin entitled In the Wake of Childhood Maltreatment. The bulletin is part of OJJDP's Youth Development Series and is based on findings from the Rochester Youth Development Study, an integral part of OJJDP's program of research on the causes and correlates of delinquency. OJJDP notes that the findings of this study are particularly valuable because they come from a general population sample, which allowed the researchers to examine how maltreated youth differ from the general population. Significant findings from the report include the following:

(Kelly, Thornberry, & Smith. (1997, August). "In the Wake of Childhood Maltreatment," NCJ-165257. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.)

Child Sexual Molestation

In June of 1997 the National Institute of Justice, within the U.S. Department of Justice, released a report entitled Child Sexual Molestation: Research Issues. The report includes information that has been distilled from several inter-related reports and studies sponsored by the National Institute of Justice on strengthening the efficacy of intervention strategies and ultimately reducing child sexual victimization rates. (Prentky, Knight, & Lee. (1997, June). Child Sexual Molestation: Research Issues, NCJ-163390. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.)

Missing and Exploited Children

In December of 1997, the U.S. Department of Justice released the 2nd edition of the publication Federal Resources on Missing and Exploited Children: A Directory for Law Enforcement and Other Public and Private Agencies. Developed by the Federal Agency Task Force for Missing and Exploited Children, the directory was created to enhance the coordination of the delivery of federal services to missing and exploited children and their families. Designed to provide information about federal resources, the directory is a compilation of the many services, programs, publications, and training that address issues of child exploitation, child pornography, child abductions, and missing children cases. (NCJ-161475)

Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse

In response to requests from criminal justice agencies from across the nation for guidelines on investigating child abuse and neglect, OJJDP developed a Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse series in 1997. There are currently 11 guides in the series, each addressing a specific aspect of investigating a suspected case of child abuse or neglect. The guides are not intended to benefit only criminal justice professionals. Social workers, physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, psychologists, attorneys, and judges -- anyone on the frontlines of reporting, investigating, and prosecuting crimes against children -- will find them useful. The Portable Guides address the following topics:


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