Updated Trends in Child Maltreatment, 2012

National statistics from 2012 showed increases in some forms of child maltreatment for the first time in many years. While overall substantiated child maltreatment was flat from 2011 to 2012, there was a 2% rise in sexual abuse and a 5% rise in physical abuse. Neglect declined 3% but child maltreatment fatalities rose 4% from 1,557 to 1,620.



Lifetime Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault

A new paper by CCRC researchers finds that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 20 boys in the US experience sexual abuse or assault by age 17.


Welcome to the Crimes Against Children Research Center

Website Construction

If you've been to our website recently, you'll notice that we've been undergoing some changes. We hope to do this with minimal impact to our visitors. If you have any trouble with the website or with finding anything on the website, please contact Toby Ball.


International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference

The International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference will be held July 13-15, 2014 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For more information, please visit the conference website.


Newly Released:


Commentary: Cause for alarm? Youth and internet risk research – a commentary on Livingstone and Smith (2014)

If you have spent any time with young people in the last 10 years, you know how enthralled they are by the electronic technology. But if you review the research on youth and technology, the themes are mostly about danger and distress.
Is this because the technology is indeed a new ‘pied piper’ seducing innocents into dangers unaware? Or is this the sign of a generational-gap alarmism that has discounted what youth are really experiencing?

This commentary on Livingstone and Smith (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 2014, 655-658) suggests that more attention should be paid to a set of hypotheses about technology that contrasts with those that have animated much of the current research interest: (a) That the digital environment is no more perilous and perhaps less perilous than other offline environments youth inhabit; (b) That the problems the digital technology poses are not unique, but rather extensions of social interaction or media consumption problems that cut across many environments and are best conceptualized holistically rather than as special; and (c) That the appropriate responses should not be specialized Internet safety training but more generic education about life skills, social interaction, emotional intelligence, and media literacy. The commentary also argues for more research that reflects and tries to illuminate the basis for the excitement and enthusiasm that the young have for the technology.


Trends in Children's Exposure to Violence, 2003-2011

Rates of violent crime have declined in the United States since the mid-1990s. This decline includes violent crimes, property crimes, and sex crimes. Children may also have benefitted from these trends. For example, rates of physical and sexual abuse substantiated by child protection authorities declined 56% and 63%, respectively, from 1992 to 2011. Violence against youth aged 12 to 17 years, measured by self-report surveys such as the National Crime Victimization Survey, also declined substantially from the mid-1990s onward. Surveys of bullying and school violence have shown similar large drops.


Children are Helped by Quality Violence Prevention Programs

A new national study conducted by the CCRC finds that two-thirds of school-age children in the United States have received some formal bullying or violence prevention program, and it has made a measureable difference for some of them.

The researchers found that children ages 5 to 9 who had received higher quality prevention education had lower levels of both peer victimization and perpetration. Education was also associated with more disclosure to authorities.

"The good news in these findings is that we see some of the safety improvements that the programs are intended to produce," said David Finkelhor, the lead author of the study.



In the News

New Data: Child Abuse Down Slightly, Fatalities Up

The number of U.S. children victimized by abuse and neglect has dropped for the sixth straight year, but child fatalities linked to maltreatment increased by nearly 4 percent, according to the latest federal data.

Read the article

CNN Commentary: Child prostitution and Trafficking: Sex ring sting….

Kudos to the FBI and its partners for bringing needed attention to the neglected problem of juveniles engaged in prostitution. On Monday, they announced the results of Operation Cross Country, a coordinated multi-agency campaign in which 150 alleged pimps were arrested in a three-day sweep in 76 cities. But it's a complex problem requiring a lot more than the arrest of pimps.

Read the CNN commentary


Washington Post Op-Ed: Five Myths About Missing Children

The notion of a stranger grabbing a child off the street occupies a prominent place in popular fears. But the missing-children cases that rise to the level of news tend to distort perceptions of how often children go missing and why. It’s important to sort out the myth and reality about missing kids.

Read the op-ed