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Schools and their Response to Children as Victims of Crime

NCJ Number
Robin Sullivan
Date Published
17 pages
Schools in Queensland, Australia, have students who are victims of a range of crimes, some committed in the home or wider community and others committed in the school itself.
Outside the school, the most prevalent crimes committed against children are in the abuse and neglect category. These crimes are often perpetrated by someone in the child's family. The most prevalent crime against children in schools is bullying. Although bullying and neglect are not specifically classified as offenses under the Queensland Criminal Code, they can be as destructive to a child's physical and emotional well-being as other offenses. With the increasing devolution of the systemic responsibility of state education systems to school-based management and decision-making, formal support mechanisms for child victims vary in accordance with decisions and policies of individual schools and local communities. For example, at the systemic level, Education Queensland has implemented mandatory reporting of suspected abuse in all public schools, has provided the services of a guidance officer in all schools, and has given all schools a kit designed to combat bullying. Other support mechanisms are selected and purchased by individual schools using cash grants from the government for victim support services. Individual schools can develop their own initiatives, and an example involves pilot programs in Community Access Schools where schools endeavor to coordinate the provisions of a comprehensive range of community services within the school environment. Programs and initiatives are selected by schools for their student and community appropriateness. National-level initiatives in Australia to prevent pedophilia and other forms of child abuse are noted, as well as child protection and child victim support policies. Links between home and school and child victimization are examined, and specific victim support options in the school setting are identified. 44 footnotes


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