In 1994 the rate of violent victimization of juveniles ages 12 through 17 was nearly 3 times that of adults

Except for murder, information on juvenile victims of violence is limited to those age 12 or older


The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) interviews a nationally representative sample of households every 6 months and asks residents age 12 or older about the violence they experienced since the last interview. This effort collects information on the range of violent crimes (excluding murder for obvious reasons): rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.

Juveniles are more likely than adults to be the victims of violent crime and be injured as a result

An analysis by Hashima and Finkelhor of 1994 NCVS data found:

  • Juveniles ages 12-17 were nearly three times as likely as adults to be victims of violent crimes in 1994.

  • Juveniles were almost three times as likely as adults to experience a crime-related injury; however, the rates of injury that required hospitalization were similar.

  • The violent victimization rate for juvenile males was about 50% greater than for juvenile females.

  • The violent victimization rate for younger juveniles (ages 12 to 14) was comparable to that of older juveniles (ages 15 to 17).

  • The overall violent victimization rate for white juveniles was similar to that of black juveniles.

  • More than two-thirds of juvenile violent victimizations were not reported to law enforcement.

1 in 5 violent offenders serving time in State prison reported having victimized a child

  • 7 in 10 of the 61,000 offenders with child victims (under age 18) reported that they were imprisoned for rape or sexual assault. These offenders accounted for two-thirds of all prisoners convicted of rape or sexual assault.

  • More than half of the violent crimes committed against under-18 victims involved children age 12 or younger.

  • 75% of child victims were female; 97% of child victimizers were male.

  • 86% of child victimizers had a prior relationship with their victim and 32% victimized their own child or stepchild.

  • 3 in 10 child-victimizers reported victimizing more than one child.

  • Although most inmates did not report a history of child abuse, those who had violently victimized a child were substantially more likely than other inmates to say they had been physically or sexually abused when they were children (31% vs. 14%).

  • Inmates with a history of physical or sexual abuse were more likely than other inmates to have victimized a child. Nearly half of all violent offenders who reported having been sexually abused had child victims; nearly one third of those reporting physical abuse had child victims. In comparison, 16% of those with no history of such abuse had child victims.

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Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1997 Update on Violence