To obtain national estimates of the degree to which school, police, and medical authorities are involved after children experience violence, abuse, and crime victimizations.
A cross-sectional, national telephone survey involving a target sample of 4549 children and youth conducted from January 1, 2008, through May 31, 2008.
Contiguous United States.
Children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years and the parents of children aged 0 to 9 years.
Conventional crime, maltreatment, abuse by peer and siblings, sexual abuse, and witnessing and indirect exposure to violence.
A total of 45.7% of children and adolescents who had experienced violence in the past year had at least 1 of their victimization incidents known to school, police, or medical authorities. For serious victimizations, such as sexual abuse by an adult, kidnapping, and gang assaults, authorities knew about 70.1% or more of the incidents. Awareness, however, was low for peer and sibling victimizations, dating violence, and completed and attempted rape. In general, school authorities knew about victimizations more often (42.3%) than police (12.7%) or medical authorities (1.8%). However, police were the most likely to know about kidnapping, neglect, and sexual abuse by any adult. Medical authorities were most likely to know about sexual abuse by any adult, gang assault, physical abuse by a caretaker, and assault with a weapon.
More incidents of victimization and abuse appear to be known to authorities currently than was the case in a comparable 1992 survey, but officials should improve at identifying a large quantity of victimizations of children and adolescents that appear to go undetected.