About the CCRC
A Pressing Need for Knowledge
Children and adolescents have among the highest rates of conventional crime victimization and,
in addition, suffer from some crimes like sexual abuse and family abduction specific to childhood.
Despite enormous publicity about crime and youth, however, this high vulnerability is seldom mentioned.
The disproportionate number of youthful offenders is much more widely recognized than the
disproportionate number of victims.
- Youth 12-17 are two to three times more likely than adults to be the victims of an assault, robbery, or rape, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey1
- Nearly half of all rape victims are girls under the age of 182
- Child protection agencies substantiate more than one million cases of child maltreatment annually3
- Children are three times more likely than adults to be seriously assaulted by members of their families4
- Children are subject to crimes not suffered by adults, such as child neglect, molestation, and family abduction
Crimes against children also deserve special attention because of their different and potentially more severe consequences
- The large number of crimes perpetrated against children by family members threatens the crucial formative environment of childhood by disrupting and distorting important family relationships
- Victimization can derail normal, healthy child development. It can affect personality formation, have long-term mental health consequences and impact academic performance
- Research has consistently shown that exposure to crime and violence places children at risk for serious delinquency
- Because of their dependency, children can suffer irreparably when parents are traumatized by crime victimization and domestic violence
1 Hashima & Finkelhor (1999)
2 Kilpatrick (1992)
3 NCANDS (1998)
4 Straus & Gelles (1980)