Survey Reveals Vulnerability of Children Nationwide to Violence from Weapons
A report published in Pediatrics discloses that more than one-quarter of all children nationwide have been exposed to violence involving a weapon. The telephonic survey was conducted by researchers of University of New Hampshire.
The estimates have been taken from a telephone survey in 2011 of youth aged 2 to 17 years and their caregivers, called the Second National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence.
Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD, University of New Hampshire and colleagues report that out of those surveyed, about 2 million children or 12.5% experienced direct victimization while 13.1% reported indirect victimization.
The report also revealed that a total of 17.5 million children or 26.5% have been victimized by weapons such as a knife, gun, stick or rock.
The study also examined victimization by weapons such as guns and knives, involving a ‘high lethality risk’. The results revealed that 3.1% of the victimized sample reported at least one direct or indirect incident involving these types of weapons in the past year.
It was also found that that children living with a non-parent adult caregiver or those living with an aged caregiver were at a higher risk of victimization by weapons. Moreover, victimization varied by gender as the boys were more likely to report victimization than girls.
The research also links victimization with trauma symptoms. Mitchell stated,” We felt that if there was a victimization incident that involved a weapon in some way that would exacerbate the trauma or the harm from the victimization”.
Mitchell added that this study reveals how ‘surprising and troubling’ violence is to kids, regardless of weapon type.
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