On-line Research and Resources

On-line Research and Resources Addressing Interpersonal Violence

The Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence has relased report Defending Childhood

Executive Summary | Full Report

This report provides a global picture of violence against children and proposes recommendations to prevent and respond to this issue. It provides information on the incidence of various types of violence against children within the family, schools, alternative care institutions and detention facilities, places where children work and communities.

CDC Report: Intimate Partner Violence Against Women Exceeds $5.8 billion

According to a new CDC report the health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of this total, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental healthcare services. Loss of productivity accounts for nearly $1.8 billion. The cost figures in the report are not comprehensive and exclude such important costs such as those related to the legal and justice systems.

Youth Victimization: Prevalence and Implications

U.S. Department of Justice

(NCJ 194972) (NIJ)

Access full text at:


Through a national survey of adolescents, researchers examined the prevalence of sexual assault, physical assault, physically abusive punishment, and witnessing an act of violence and subsequent effects on mental health, substance use, and delinquent behavior problems. Victimization was linked to a wide range of mental health problems and delinquent behaviors. Negative outcomes in victims of sexual assault were three to five times the rates observed in nonvictims.

Mitchell, K., Finkelhor, D., & Wolak, J. (2003, March)

New report: Risks and Remedies for Online Pornography Exposure Among Youth


Youth who go to chat rooms, use computers in other people’s homes and engage in risky online behavior tend to encounter more unwanted online pornography, according to a new study by University of New Hampshire researchers. In contrast, youth in households with filtering and blocking software are exposed to pornography somewhat less. Over all, a quarter of youth said they had been exposed to pornography involuntarily over the course of a year. These findings are published in the March 2003 issue of the journal Youth and Society by researchers at the University of New Hampshire ‘s Crimes against Children Research Center .

Stewart, A., Dennison, S., & Waterson, E. (2002, October)

Pathways from child maltreatment to juvenile offending. Trends and Issues in Crimes and Criminal Justice , #241. Australian

Institute of Criminology.


Abstract: This study demonstrates a direct path from child maltreatment to juvenile offending. The study focuses on the 41,700 children born in Queensland in 1983. It finds that about 10% of these children came into contact with the Department of Families by the time they were 17 years old because of a child protection matter. About 5% of those in the cohort had a court appearance for a proven offence. Many, but not all, of these children fitted into both categories (that is, coming into contact with the Department as well as having a court appearance).

The authors examine 11 predictive factors for youth offending, and find that children who suffer maltreatment are more likely to offend. Physical abuse and neglect are significant predictive factors, but sexual and emotional abuse are not.
The authors conclude that preventing child maltreatment is likely to result in a large decrease in juvenile offending. “By directing attention to those children who are maltreated and ensuring that the maltreatment is not repeated, significant benefits in crime reduction … can be … obtained” (p. 6).

Eastwood, C., & Patton, W. (2002, July)

The Experiences of Child Complainants of Sexual Abuse in the Criminal Justice System.


This study focuses on the experiences of child complainants of sexual abuse across three jurisdictions: Queensland , New South Wales and Western Australia . Specifically, the research examines the experiences of child complainants in the criminal justice system as well as the consequences of their involvement in the process. In-depth interviews with children are combined with data gathered from parents, crown prosecutors, defense lawyers, court support personnel and members of the judiciary. On the individual level, the discussion analyses the significant processes in the criminal justice process for child complainants. On the systemic level, the implications for legislators and legal practitioners is presented. From a theoretical perspective, the report examines why decades of reform have achieved limited gains for Australian children, and why the criminal justice system remains the legally sanctioned context for the abuse of children.

Technical, Business, and Legal Dimensions of Protecting Children from Pornography on the Internet: Proceedings of a Workshop (2002) available online through the National Academy Press (NAP).

Steven W. Kairys, MD, MPH, Charles F. Johnson, MD and Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect (PEDIATRICS Vol. 109 No. 4)

Psychological maltreatment is a common consequence of physical and sexual abuse but also may occur as a distinct entity. Until recently, there has been controversy regarding the definition and consequences of psychological maltreatment. Sufficient research and consensus now exist about the incidence, definition, risk factors, and consequences of psychological maltreatment.

Child Physical and Sexual Abuse: Guidelines for Treatment

National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center

Final Report: January 15, 2003

The Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department Justice


These guidelines explain what is known about 24 treatment approaches in three categories (child-focused; family-focused; and offender- focused). Each treatment approach includes a description of its theoretical basis, components, empirical support, and reference materials. In addition, a classification system that rates each treatment helps practitioners easily find out which treatments are strongly supported, generally accepted, or viewed as questionable. A classification score ranging from 1 (well-supported, efficacious treatment) to 6 (concerning treatment) reflects the level of support for each approach.

Child Abuse and Neglect: Compendia of Civil and Criminal State Laws

By U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect (Current through December 31, 2000) PDF format.


Lists how each state in the U.S. defines of child abuse and neglect. The compendia of civil state laws to help legal and non-legal professionals in the analysis, formulation, and implementation of child protection and child welfare legislation. The Compendia (previously titled State Statutes Elements) contain citations and text of key civil statutes pertaining to child maltreatment, child welfare, and domestic violence. The Compendia are intended as research tools and do not substitute for the official version of any statute.

National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women

To provide concrete guidance to communities, policy leaders, and individuals engaged in activities to end violence against women, the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women developed a “toolkit” comprised of 16 chapters. Each chapter focuses on a particular audience or environment and includes recommendations for strengthening prevention efforts and improving services and advocacy for victims. The recommendations were reviewed by numerous experts in the fields of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children In the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Full Report of the U.S. National Study

University of Pennsylvania study on child sexual exploitation in North America

September 18, 2001


Major Findings: Patterns of child sexual exploitation are fueled by:

    1. The use of prostitution by runaway and thrownaway children to provide for their subsistence needs
    2. The presence of pre-existing adult prostitution markets in the communities where large numbers of street youth
      are concentrated
    3. Prior history of child sexual abuse and child sexual assault
    4. Poverty
    5. The presence of large numbers of unattached and transient males in communities–including military personnel,
      truckers, conventioneers, sex tourists, among others
    6. The promotion of juvenile prostitution by parents, older sib-lings and boy friends
    7. The recruitment of children by organized crime units for prostitution; and, increasingly
    8. Illegal trafficking of children for sexual purposes to the U.S. from developing countries located in Asia,
      Africa, Central and South America, and Central and Eastern Europe

Further, the investigators confirmed that:

    1. Between 244,000 and 325,000 American children and youth are “at risk” each year of becoming victims of sexual
      exploitation, including as victims of commercial sexual exploitation (e.g., child pornography, juvenile
      prostitution, and trafficking in children for sexual purposes);
    2. as a group, sexually exploited children are quite heterogeneous and include children living in their own homes
      as well as children who are runaways and thrownaways;
    3. sexual exploiters consist mostly of men, but some women and juveniles (including older siblings) also sexually
      exploit children;
    4. the major groups of sexual exploiters of children include:
      • Family members and acquaintances
      • Strangers
      • Pedophiles
      • Transient males including military personnel, truck drivers, seasonal workers, conventioneers
        and sex tourists, among others
      • “Opportunistic” exploiters, i.e., per-sons who will sexually abuse whoever is
        available for sex including children, but who may sub-sequently focus on children
      • Pimps
      • Traffickers
      • Other juveniles
    5. criminal networks are actively involved in the sexual exploitation of children and profit signifi-cantly from
      that exploitation;
    6. substantial numbers of foreign children are trafficked into the U.S. for sexual purposes; and
    7. significant numbers of American youth also are trafficked for sexual purposes across the U.S. and, in some
      cases, to other economically advanced countries.

he report concludes with 11 recommendations that are designed to strengthen the nation’s (and region’s) capacity for protecting vulnerable youth from both CSE and the CSEC.

Crimes against Children by Babysitters (2001)

A new report on crimes by babysitters finds twice as many sexual offenses as physical assaults, with teenage babysitters responsible for nearly half of the sex crimes. The report, “Crimes against Children by Babysitters,” is the latest in a series published by the United States Department of Justice and prepared by the University of New Hampshire ‘s Crimes against Children Research Center .

Prevent Child Abuse America. PDF format

This report was compiled using government statistics by Prevent Child Abuse America . Innumerable scientific studies have documented the link between the abuse and neglect of children and a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological and behavioral disorders. For example, abused and neglected children are more likely to suffer from depression, alcoholism, drug abuse and severe obesity. They are also more likely to require special education in school and to become juvenile delinquents and adult criminals. This report represents the first attempt to document the nationwide costs resulting from abuse and neglect. These costs can be placed in one of two categories: direct (those costs associated with the immediate needs of abused or neglected children) and indirect (those costs associated with the long-term and/or secondary effects of child abuse and neglect).

Note: a book is available that also examines the cost of child maltreatment to society.

The Cost of Child Maltreatment: Who Pays? We All Do. K. Franey, R. Geffner, R. Falconer, eds. FVSAI Publications, 2001. 243 pp. Price $28

The book can be ordered at http://www.ivatcenters.org/Images/booklist.pdf

Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey (July 2000)

NIJ Research Report presents findings from a survey of 8,000 U.S. women and 8,000 U.S. men about their experiences as victims of intimate partner violence (rape, physical assault, and stalking). Respondents were asked detailed questions about the characteristics and consequences of their victimization during their lifetime and the past 12 months, including the rate of injury among rape and physical assault victims, their use of medical services, and their involvement with the criminal justice system.

Child Welfare Outcomes 2002: Annual Report

PDF (3.30 MB)

The report that compiles state and national data on children who are abused and neglected, in foster care, adopted, or waiting to be adopted. The report was required by the Adoption and Safe Families Act signed into law by President Clinton in 1997, and the data it contains, together with child welfare monitoring reviews, will be used to hold states accountable for services to at-risk children.

Online Victimization: A Report on the Nation’s Youth (June 8, 2000)

According to the study, 19% of regular Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 received unwanted online requests to engage in sexual activities or to provide intimate sexual information in the last year. In 15% of such incidents, the solicitor attempted to contact the youth in person, over the telephone or by mail. The study was conducted by the Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) at the University of New Hampshire and funded by the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children.

1997 NCANDS Report

Child Maltreatment 1997: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (Government Printing Office, 1999) Page D-9, Tables 3.1 and 3.2


Child Trend Data Bank

This DataBank is a user-friendly site providing continuously updated trend data with the latest national estimates on child and youth well-being.

The Impact of Violence on Mental Health

A Guide to the Literature by Janice Ristock and the Mental Health Division, Health Promotion and Programs Branch, Health Canada HTML – PDF

This guide describes research on the mental health effects of violence in relationships of kinship, intimacy, dependency or trust. The guide summarizes research referenced in key journal articles from 1989 to March 1994 and selected literature published before April 1995 identified by the Family Violence Prevention Division and the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence library and database. 1995.