National Child Abuse Expert Authors Book About Childhood Victimization
Contact:  Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
February 12, 2008

DURHAM, N.H. -- Noted national child abuse researcher David Finkelhor has authored a book that presents a comprehensive new vision of how to think about and respond to children who experience crime, violence and abuse.

Childhood Victimization was published Feb. 6, 2008, by Oxford University Press. Finkelhor is the director of the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, where he also is a professor of sociology.

"Children are the most criminally victimized segment of the population. Over a fifth of American youth face multiple, serious 'poly-victimizations' during a single year. Yet more attention in academic research and government policy has traditionally gone to studying juvenile delinquents than juvenile victims, despite the fact that children actually appear before authorities more frequently as victims than as offenders," according to Finkelhor.

In his book, Finkelhor presents a comprehensive new vision that encompasses the prevention, treatment, and study of juvenile victims, unifying the often separate areas of child molestation, child abuse, bullying, and exposure to community violence. Developmental Victimology, his term for this integrated perspective, looks at child victimization across childhood's span and yields insights about how to categorize juvenile victimizations, how to think about risk and impact, and how victimization patterns change over the course of development.

The book also provides a new model of society's response to child victimization -- what Finkelhor calls the Juvenile Victim Justice System -- and a fresh way of thinking about barriers that victims and their families encounter when seeking help. The book also contains fascinating new details about and explanations for an unexpected decline in rates of child victimization in the US that is now a decade and a half old.

"Over the last 30 years, we have come to expect creativity, rigor, intelligence, and compassion from David Finkelhor. Childhood Victimization offers that and more: a comprehensive report on the emergent field of child victimology," says James Garbarino, director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago.

Finkelhor has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He is well known for his conceptual and empirical work on the problem of child sexual abuse, reflected in publications such as Sourcebook on Child Sexual Abuse (Sage, 1986) and Nursery Crimes (Sage, 1988). He has also written about child homicide, missing and abducted children, children exposed to domestic and peer violence and other forms of family violence. He is editor and author of 11 books and more than 150 journal articles and book chapters. In 1994, he was given the Distinguished Child Abuse Professional Award by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and in 2004 he was given the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.


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