Blog: victimization

Increasing Disclosure and Identifying Victimizations of Children

In 2008, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention conducted the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), which is the most comprehensive survey to date to assess childhood victimizations. The survey was initiated under the OJJDP’s Safe Start program in efforts to increase authority knowledge of childhood victimizations, including sexual assault by an adult, kidnapping, gang or group assault, as well as indirect victimizations such as witness to assault and exposure to shooting of another.
Although the study primarily focused on which authorities, including police, school and medical officials, were more likely to know about certain types of victimizations, another interesting aspect of the study examined what kind of factors were preventing disclosure to authorities. It reported that authorities were less likely to know about victimizations of boys, Hispanic youth, and those of higher SES groups (Support Enforcement Services). Researchers speculate that victims with these characteristics are hesitant to report their exposure as a reflection of social norms and cultural concerns.
The study concludes that although there are higher rates of victimizations known to authorities, officials need to increase disclosure promotion aimed at these particular groups. It is important for victims to view these trained professionals as resources who can help protect them and not as people who they must fear.

New juvenile victimization questionnaire released

The Crimes Against Children Research Center has released its Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire.
A supplemental tool to the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), the questionnaire attempts to document the full range of victimization that youth experience, including conventional crime, maltreatment, peer and sibling victimization, sexual victimization, witnessing, and other exposure to violence. Moreover, it aims to help practitioners determine youth’s needs, assess whether victimization programs are effective, raise awareness on youth victimization, and improve victimization research.
NatSCEV is the largest, most comprehensive survey on youth victimization conducted in the United States.
Multiple versions of the JVQ-R2 questionnaire is free and available online here.
Click here to view and download other publications from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence series.