Childhood Victimization: Violence, Crime, and Abuse in the Lives of Young People

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Overview

Children are the most criminally victimized segment of the population, and a substantial number face multiple, serious "poly-victimizations" during a single year. And despite the fact that the priority emphasis in academic research and government policy has traditionally gone to studying juvenile delinquents, children actually appear before authorities more frequently as victims than as offenders. But at the same time, the media and many advocates have failed to note the good news: rates of sexual abuse, child homicide, and many other forms of victimization declined dramatically after the mid-1990s, and some terribly feared forms of child victimization, like stereotypical stranger abduction, are remarkably uncommon. The considerable ignorance about the realities of child victimization can be chalked up to a field that is fragmented, understudied, and subjected to political demagoguery.

In this persuasive book, David Finkelhor presents a comprehensive new vision to encompass the prevention, treatment, and study of juvenile victims, unifying conventional subdivisions like child molestation, child abuse, bullying, and exposure to community violence. Developmental victimology, his term for this integrated perspective, looks at child victimization across childhood's span and yields fascinating insights about how to categorize juvenile victimizations, how to think about risk and impact, and how victimization patterns change over the course of development.

The book also provides a valuable new model of society's response to child victimization - what Finkelhor calls the Juvenile Victim Justice System - and a fresh way of thinking about barriers that victims and their families encounter when seeking help. These models will be very useful to anyone seeking to improve the way we try to help child victims. Crimes against children still happen far too often, but by proposing a new framework for thinking about the issue, Childhood Victimization opens a promising door to reducing its frequency and improving the response. Professionals, policymakers, and child advocates will find this paradigm-shifting book to be a valuable addition to their shelves.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an important book...As in all his work, Finkelhor proceeds in a careful analytical way, sorting through explanations, advancing helpful classification systems and making good use of empirical evidence where it exists...[He is] a stimulating theorist and policy analyst. Finkelhor has challenged specialists in a way which will hopefully lead to productive and practically important scholarship."—Northwest Institute for Children and Families

"...a must read book."—The Lancet

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195342857
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/10/2008
  • Series: Interpersonal Violence Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Finkelhor is Director of Crimes against Children Research Center, Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He is editor and author of 11 previous books and over 150 journal articles and book chapters.

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Table of Contents

1. Chapter 1. Child Victims: An Introduction
2. Chapter 2. Developmental Victimology
3. Chapter 3. Children at Risk
4. Chapter 4. Developmental Impact (David Finkelhor and Kathy Kendall-Tackett)
5. Chapter 5. Just Kids' Stuff? Peer and Sibling Violence (David Finkelhor with Heather Turner and Richard Ormond)
6. Chapter 6. Getting Help: What Are the Barriers? (David Finkelhor with Janis Wolak and Lucy Berliner)
7. Chapter 7. Good News: Child Victimization Has Been Declining. Why? (David Finkelhor with Lisa Jones)
8. The Juvenile Victim Justice System: A Concept for Helping Victims (David Finkelhor with Ted Cross and Elise Cantor)

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