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Many U.S. Kids Victims of Violence, Abuse: Survey
Date:5/13/2013

ply move out of a family where someone is aggressive toward them or out of a neighborhood where there are a lot of bullies," he said.
  • Children are smaller and less experienced. "They haven't learned how to protect themselves in the same way as older people," he said.
  • Some of the ways in which they get victimized aren't taken all that seriously. "If colleagues knocked you over in your office, someone would get in trouble," Finkelhor said. "That's not necessarily so on the playground. We aren't as fierce in enforcing norms."
  • Kids take risks and don't control their behavior the way adults do.
  • Finkelhor said he believes violence rates have stabilized due to "excellent new evidence-based programs at a variety of levels, some of them in schools." These include programs to teach conflict resolution and management, self-protective skills, better parenting and better child supervision.

    "Schools are becoming much more vigilant, partly because they got slapped with lawsuits and partly because they realized kids were being bullied and mistreated, and coming back to do some truly awful things," he said.

    More information

    To learn more about children and violence, visit the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

    SOURCES: David Finkelhor, Ph.D., professor of sociology, University of New Hampshire, and director, Crimes Against Children Research Center, Durham, N.H.; Michael Brody, M.D., child psychiatrist, Potomac, Md., and spokesman, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry; May 13, 2013, JAMA Pediatrics, online


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