Objective. The goal of this study was to gain a more comprehensive perspective on the scope, variety, and consequences of child victimization, which has been obscured by a fragmentation into specific problems like sexual abuse or kidnapping.
Methods. Two thousand children aged 10 to 16 years were interviewed in a national telephone survey of children.
Results. In the previous year, a quarter of the children had experienced a completed victimization, one in eight had experienced an injury, and one in a hundred required medical attention as a result Nonfamily physical assaults were the most numerous. Contact sexual abuse occurred to 3.2% of girls and 0.6% of boys. There were also substantial numbers of incidents of attempted kidnappings and violence directed to children's genitals.
Conclusion. The victimization of children occurs to a greater extent than has been previously reported and is poorly represented in official statistics. Implication. The authors argue for a more comprehensive interest in children's victimization including better national statistics about the problem.
- Received September 17, 1993.
- Accepted February 18, 1994.
- Copyright © 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics