CCRC Report: Crimes Against Children Diminishing

Crimes against children including assault and bullying have decreased in the past decade in the US, according to the latest statistics from the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC). An article posted on reports that these figures mirror the overall reduction in violence since the 1990s.

Sociologists declared this finding, which they call the great crime decline, "truly amazing".

According to an article by Michael McEnaney of Tech Times, of the 50 trends addressed in the survey, there were 27 significant reductions, and no important increases between the years of 2003-2011. Particularly large declines were reported for:

  • Assault victimization
  • Bullying
  • Sexual victimization
  • Perpetration of violence
  • Property crime
Despite the usual tie of violence and crime surging during a recession, it appears this was not the case during the American economic downturn between 2008-2011.
David Finkelhor, the study's lead author, said that other positives in the study include: the lowering of the high school dropout rate, the number of children who are reported missing and the number of teenage pregnancies. In fact, the study showed that teenage sexual behavior, overall, has gotten more responsible.
Finkelhor suggests that the use of cellphones among young children may be part of the reason for the lessening of violence. Children with cell phones can call for help, when necessary.
The study included youth between the ages of 2 and 17. Other notable points of interest are as follows:
  • More girls than boys are victimized in sexual offenses and kidnapping. Boys, more than girls, were victims of all other crimes.
  • The most commonly reported offense was simple assault.
  • Adult offenders are responsible for 48% of the crimes labeled as victimization of children.
  • Family members make up 26% of offenders against children.
  • Acquaintances make up 63% of perpetrators.
  • Juvenile crime victims are slightly more likely to be non-white.
  • Juvenile victimizations appear to constitute 1 in 11 of all crimes reported to police officials.
  • 25% of all juvenile victims are under the age of 12.
  • Although the emphasis in the last few years has been on sexual victimization of juveniles, the data show that aggravated assault is reported at about the same frequency.
  • 40% of those surveyed experienced physical assault in the last year. 1 in 10 experienced an assault-related injury.
It is the hope of the CCRC surveyors that the data received from this study can be helpful to law enforcement officers by way of training and focus.
It is also the hope of the authors of this study that because of the information disseminated, it will improve the reporting of violence against children.
In public health, thorough records are kept and shared. Crimes are tracked by the National Crime Victimization Survey. Other health characteristics are tracked, such as obesity statistics and the prevalence of asthma. Yet, juvenile exposure to abuse and serious crimes has many gaps in its reporting.
05 6, 2014
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