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Juveniles as Victims


Public perception of youth victimization tends to be incomplete, reflecting the latest headlines rather than day-to-day realities. In fact, many youth are subject to victimization through what might be called normal child activities: fights on the playground, pushing and shoving in the halls. However, many children experience serious victimization from many sources including their family (e.g., child abuse and abduction), peers (e.g., assaults), and strangers (e.g., theft and assault). Violence does not leave its young victims unscathed. Society must deal with the results of such violence for some time to come. Often, the child victims themselves do not understand how their experiences affect their behavior, including being the catalyst for potential future delinquency.

This section provides statistics on child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment. It also delves into the often more visible forms of victimization such as murder and sexual assault. It is important to have a consistent and accurate view of such victimization to develop programs and policy that are based on facts rather than a generalized perception of the problem or a response to severe but relatively rare acts of violence.


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