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A great deal of attention has been paid recently by clinicians and researchers to various form of child victimization. These studies, however, have tended to focus on one or a small number of types of victimization.

This is a problem for a number of reasons: It does not show a full picture of the victimizations that young people experience, instead focusing on one or more while excluding may others; it fails to show the interrelations between types of victimizations; and research has tended to focus on older juveniles (teens and occasionally grade-schoolers), thus neglecting the earlier years that would give a true picture of the arc of child victimization.

CCRC researchers conducted the Developmental Victimization Survey to gather data on a range of victimizations from birth until adulthood over the course of one year. Among the findings were:

  • Just more than half of youth (530 per 1000) experienced a physical assault. The highest rate of physical assault victimization occurred during between ages six and 12.
  • One in 12 (82 of 1000) youth experienced sexual victimization, including sexual assault (32 per 1000) and attempted or completed rape (22 per 1000).
  • Child maltreatment was experience by a little less than 1/7 of youth (138 per 1000). The study divided maltreatment into five categories (physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and family abduction) of which emotional abuse (name calling or denigration by an adult) was most frequent in occurrence.

Source: Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R.K., Turner, H.A., & Hamby, S.L. (2005). The victimization of children and youth: A comprehensive, national survey. Child Maltreatment, 10(1), 5-25.