March 2012, Vol. 13, No. 2

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Child Welfare Research

Data on Multiple Types of Victimization

A recent study found that children and youth witnessing or experiencing one type of victimization are at much greater risk for experiencing other types of victimization—a problem known as polyvictimization. The study, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), used data from the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) and the Developmental Victimization Survey (DVS) to examine children who experienced physical assault, child maltreatment, sexual abuse, or bullying as well as those who  witnessed violence at home, in school, or in the community. Major findings include:

Professionals should be aware that the physical, mental, and emotional harm caused by polyvictimization is likely to accumulate and multiply over time. To improve services and support for polyvictimized children, the authors of the report offer recommendations in the areas of prevention, assessment, intervention, and treatment.

"Polyvictimization: Children's Exposure to Multiple Types of Violence, Crime, and Abuse," by D. Finkelhor, H. Turner, S. Hamby, and R. Ormrod, was published in the October 2011 issue of OJJDP's Juvenile Justice Bulletin. The study is available to download from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service website:   (982 KB)

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