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Teen Health 411

Report About Childrens Exposure To Violence


The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) recently released a report on the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), which provides the first real estimates of the nature and extent of violence in the lives of children.

This report is the first description of the types of violence children of all ages experience - as victims or witnesses - in their homes, schools and communities. The results suggest that more than 60 percent of children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly (victims) or indirectly (witnesses). One in ten was injured during an assault, and nearly half were assaulted in some way.

These results are staggering and completely unacceptable when you think about the fact that every one of the children experiencing a trauma lives with the short and long term emotional, social, physical and cognitive impact of it. There are more and more support systems for youth recovering from trauma, but recovery is slow, even for youth considered resilient.

NatSEV was conducted in 2008 and data was collected through interviews with 4,549 children and adolescents under the age of 17, talking with the youth ages 10 - 17 and the caregivers of the children under nine years of age.

Photo credit: Cyb3rbl@ck
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.