This chapter summarizes what is known about the prevalence and incidence of juvenile victimizations. It answers important questions to assist policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and concerned citizens in developing policies and programs to ensure the safety and well-being of children. How many children are abused and neglected? What are the trends in child maltreatment? How often are juveniles the victims of crime? How many children are victims of crime at school and what are the characteristics of school crime? When and where are juveniles most likely to become victims of crime? How many juveniles are murdered each year? How often are firearms involved in juvenile murders and who are their offenders? How many youth commit suicide?
Research has shown that child victimization and abuse are linked to problem behaviors that become evident later in life. So an understanding of childhood victimization and its trends may lead to a better understanding of juvenile offending.
Data sources include child maltreatment data reported by the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect and by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, and foster care and adoption information from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System. Self-reported victimization data are presented from the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, the Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Crime Victimization Survey and it's School Crime Supplement, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Official victimization data is reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Incident-Based Reporting System and its Supplementary Homicide Reporting Program. Suicide information is presented from the National Center for Health Statistics.