Children as victims of violence: A national survey



Objective. The goal of this study was to gain a more comprehensive perspective on the scope, variety, and consequences of child victimization, which has been obscured by a fragmentation into specific problems like sexual abuse or kidnapping. Methods. Two thousand children aged 10 to 16 years were interviewed in a national telephone survey of children. Results. In the previous year, a quarter of the children had experienced a completed victimization, one in eight had experienced an injury, and one in a hundred required medical attention as a result. Nonfamily physical assaults were the most numerous. Contact sexual abuse occurred to 3.2% of girls and 0.6% of boys. There were also substantial numbers of incidents of attempted kidnapping and violence directed to children's genitals. Conclusion. The victimization of children occurs to a greater extent than has been previously reported and is poorly represented in official statistics. Implication. The authors argue for a more comprehensive interest in children's victimization including better national statistics about the problem.

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American Academy of Pediatrics

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