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Juveniles as Victims
Child Maltreatment
Q: Is there a relationship between the sex of the perpetrator and the age of the victim in cases of child maltreatment?
A: As the primary provider of child care, females were the perpetrators in most cases of maltreatment.

Relating age of victim and gender of the perpetrator, 1996

                                  Percent of Perpetrators                                 
Victim age Male only Female only Mixed: male and

0 to 17 22 % 54 % 24 % 100 %
Less than 1 5   70   25   100  
1 to 5 16   58   25   100  
6 to 11 25   52   24   100  
12 to 17 35   42   23   100  

Note: Detail may not total 100% due to rounding. The male proportion includes cases with at least one male perpetrator and no females. The female proportion includes cases with at least one female perpetrator and no males. The mixed proportion includes cases with at least one male and one female perpetrator. It should be noted that cases identifying multiple perpetrators do not imply equal involvement of each perpetrator.

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  • In 1996, over one-half (54%) of maltreatment cases involved only female perpetrators, and about one-quarter (24%) involved both male and female perpetrators. As a result, at least one female was identified as a perpetrator in more than 3 in 4 maltreatment cases (78%). In contrast, at least one male was identifed as a perpetrator in about 1 in 2 cases (46%).
  • Male perpetrators were more common in maltreatment cases involving older victims. For example, at least one male was identified as the perpetrator in 30% of cases involving victims under the age of 1, compared to 58% of cases involving victims ages 1217.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02104.asp?qaDate=19990930. Released on September 30, 1999.

Adapted from Snyder, H. & Sickmund, M. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, p. 46. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999.

Data Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau. National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System [unpublished data from the detailed data component]. 1998.


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