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A study of a national sample of American children found that over the past year 60 percent were exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities. "Poly-Victimization: A neglected component in child victimization." Child Abuse & Neglect, 31(1), 7-26. Almost 40 percent of American children were direct victims of 2 or more violent acts, and 1 in 10 were victims of violence 5 or more times. The term poly-victimization describes individuals who have experienced multiple victimizations of different kinds, such as sexual assault and bullying, or witnessing intimate partner violence and physical abuse. Nearly half of a national sample of children had experienced at least 2 different kinds of victimizations in the past year (Finkelhor et al., 2007). Some types of victimizations are more strongly associated with violent offending than others (Nofzinger & Kurtz, 2005). Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development. C.: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Sexual victimization is not predictive of violent offending, whereas victims of child physical abuse are approximately 1.7 times more likely than others to be involved in perpetrating violent offenses. "Co-occurrence of interparental violence and child physical abuse and its effect on the adolescents' behavior." Journal of Family Violence, 22(8), 691-701. Understanding these multilevel factors can help identify various opportunities for prevention.

Those risk factors contribute to IPV but might not be direct causes.Children are more likely to be exposed to violence and crime than adults. Almost 1 in 10 American children saw one family member assault another family member, and more than 25 percent had been exposed to family violence during their life (Finkelhor et al., 2009). "Childhood victimization, poly-victimization, and adjustment to college in women." Child Maltreatment, 14(4), 330-343. Not everyone who is identified as “at risk” becomes involved in violence.Some risk factors for IPV victimization and perpetration are the same, while others are associated with one another.More than half of domestic violence victims (57%) said they were distracted, almost half (45%) feared getting discovered, and two in five were afraid of their intimate partner’s unexpected visit (either by phone or in person).[iv]Nine in ten employees (91%) say that domestic violence has a negative impact on their company’s bottom line. The table below lists OJP solicitations and challenges that closed during the current fiscal year.The range of outcomes includes psychological distress, adjustment in adult relationships, college adjustment, school grades, physical health, teen pregnancy, delinquency, bullying, self-directed violence, physical fighting, teen dating violence perpetration, and adult intimate partner violence victimization and perpetration (Duke et al., 2010; Richmond et al., 2009; Elliott et al., 2009; Holt et al., 2007; Flaherty et al., 2009; Sternberg et al., 2006; Finkelhor et al., 2007a; Turner et al., 2010; Anda et al., 2001; Whitfield et al., 2003; Spriggs et al., 2009). Practice Recommendations Crime includes information about evidence-based programs that are promising and effective at addressing issues related to CEV. There is evidence that exposure to child abuse and neglect has profound effects on brain development and cognition (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2009). Behavioral outcomes may include substance abuse or dependence, teen pregnancy, aggression, conduct disorder, delinquency, and violence, including dating violence and intimate partner violence (Bourassa, 2007; Duke et al., 2010; Ehrensaft et al., 2003; Finkelhor et al., 2009; Herrenkohl et al., 2008; Johnson et al., 2002; Kilpatrick et al., 2003; Mc Cabe et al., 2005; Moylan et al., 2010; Nofzinger & Kurtz, 2005).


  1. The DOJ Program Plan is a tool to help applicants and grantees find funding opportunities. dating violence. The Office of Justice Programs.

  2. Given the prevalence of domestic violence within dating. U. S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women usdoj. Teen Dating Violence.

  3. Persons with certain risk factors are more likely to become perpetrators or victims of intimate partner violence IPV. Those risk factors contribute to IPV but might.

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