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Prevalence of Childhood Exposure to Violence, Crime, and Abuse: Results From the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence

NCJ Number
JAMA Volume: Online First Dated: August 2015
Date Published
August 2015
9 pages

This article provides healthcare professionals, policymakers, and parents current estimates of exposure to violence, crime, and abuse across childhood and at various developmental stages.


The study's general conclusion is that children and youth are exposed to violence, abuse, and crime in varied and extensive ways, which justifies continued monitoring and prevention efforts. The National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) found that 37.3 percent of youth experienced a physical assault in the study year, and 9.3 percent of youth experienced an assault-related injury. Two percent of girls experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse in the study year; the rate was 4.6 percent for girls 14 to 17 years old. Overall, 15.2 percent of children and youth experienced maltreatment by a caregiver, including 5.0 percent who experienced physical abuse. In total, 5.8 percent witnessed an assault between parents. Only two significant rate changes were detected compared with the last survey in 2011, namely, declines in past-year exposure to dating violence and lifetime exposure to household theft. The NatSCEV includes a representative sample of U.S. telephone numbers from August 28, 2013, to April 30, 2014. In telephone interviews, information was obtained on 4,000 children 0 to 17 years old, with information about exposure to violence, crime, and abuse provided by youth 10 to 17 years old and by caregivers for children 0 to 9 years old. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: August 1, 2015