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Child and youth victimization known to police, school, and medical authorities

Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., Turner, H., and Hamby, S. – 2012

A survey of data from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) on the extent to which child/youth victimization is known to police, school, and medical authorities. Discusses how child abuse and victimization can occur without knowledge of relevant authorities, and how to increase this knowledge. Reports that 46% of victimized children had at least one incident of victimization known to police, school, or medical authorities. Authorities are more likely to know about serious victimizations (such as sexual assault) but less likely to know about peer to peer victimizations. School authorities are generally most likely to know about child victimizations because of the amount of time spent with children, followed by police and medical. Certain serious victimizations are more known to police. Presents a table listing child victimizations and percent known to the three authorities. Report notes that authorities’ knowledge of child victimizations has increased over time. Lists factors that impede disclosure, noting both victim and perpetrator characteristics. Notes that boys (Hispanic in particular) are less likely to disclose victimization. Discusses the need for public education efforts to encourage disclosure, and community resources to work with child victims and their families.