The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention just released their study, Children’s Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey. The study included over 4,500 juveniles age 17 and younger and covered topics from bullying, to child maltreatment, to sexual victimization. Here are some interesting findings:
- Children 7-10 years old are the most likely to experience physical assault/bullying from siblings and peers
- Nearly 1 in 10 surveyed had been sexually victimized, and nearly 20% of all girls are sexually victimized by the time they are 17
- 1 in 5 children suffer maltreatment (physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and more) by the time they are 17
Children 10-13 are at the highest risk for kidnapping than any other age group
- Overall, adolescents age 14-17 are at the highest risk for witnessing or being the victim of physical abuse and sexual victimization of all types
Any violence against children is too much violence against children. Talk to your kids about what they can do to protect themselves from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Foster a relationship with your children that is open and honest, where they can feel safe talking to you about these issues. Overall, as adults and parents, we need to be the examples for our children. If we are physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to them or others—or let abuse we see go unreported—they will learn from us.
Let’s all work together to stop violence against children. Here’s one organization that is trying to help: www.darkness2light.org. They have great resources for parents for raising awareness and combating child sexual abuse.
Read the entire results of the study here: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227744.pdf
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