A new survey conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center has revealed that United States kids and teens went through a great deal of abuse between the years of 2013 and 2014. Almost 4 in 10 of them have experienced physical assault in one shape or another, at the hands of peers and older siblings.
What’s even worse, the survey also found that 1 in 20 US kids and teens have has also experienced physical abuse inflicted by a parent or some other mature, responsible caregiver.
David Finkelhor, study author and director of the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center gave a statement saying that children are the segment of the population that’s the most victimized and that we should be very worried about the many different types of things that they experience.
He went on to add that “The full burden of this tends to be missed because many national crime indicators either do not include the experience of all children or don’t look at the big picture and include all the kinds of violence to which children are exposed”.
He stressed that abuse and violence during childhood and adolescence are some of the biggest factors that lead to a lot of the most serious social problems and health related problems. The author gave specific examples such as drug abuse, criminal behavior, mental illness, suicide, and even diabetes, which is a chronic disease.
He pointed out that the very people who are supposed to love and support these children are the very same that push them into these destructive patterns – parents, siblings, schoolmates. Indeed, statistically speaking, it’s much more likely that you will be abused by someone you know and spend a great deal of time with, rather than by a stranger.
For their paper was published earlier this week, on Monday (June 29, 2015), in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the researchers looked at 4.000 phone interview taken from kids and teens. Those with the age between 10 and 17 answered their own questions, while those younger than them had a parent or caretaker answer in their place.
The selected questions addressed issues such as exposure to violent behavior, abuse and crime.
The results showed that a total of more than 37 percent (37%) participating kids and teens have been assaulted physically this past year. Almost 22 percent (22%) of the attacks were carried out by siblings, a little over 16 percent (16%) of the attacks were carried out by peers, but out of all of them only 9 percent (9%) actually ended up injuring a kid or a teen.
Finkelhor mentions that adults typically dismiss sibling assaults because they see it as typical sibling behavior. However, he insists that the research has shown how this is a major source of distress and trauma for victims as it makes them feel unsafe in their own homes.
On the adult front, the researchers found that 15 percent (15%) of kids and teens were mistreated by either a parent or some other caregiver figure, and in 5 percent (5%) of these incidents the children were physically abused. The rest of them were abused emotionally, neglected, or had one parent mess up the custody arrangements established with the other parent.
Adults inflicted physical abuse on boys almost twice as much as they dud on girls, however teenage girls were much more likely than boys to experience sexual assault. A total of 5 percent (5%) of the subjects have been sexually assaulted or abused this past year, with 4.6 percent (4.6%) of them being teens.
The study also informs that 6 percent (6%) of the subjects had witnessed their parents having a physical fight.