FIGURE 5-2 Victimization Rates, 1990–1999. Source: US DHHS, 2001a.

samples of adult primary care patients found 22–32 percent of them to report ever experiencing physical or sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence (Felitti et al., 1998; McCauley et al., 1997). While neither study asked subjects about the identity of the perpetrator (e.g., parent, other adult, peer), another study of high school girls (grades 9–12) explicitly asked about victimization by dating partners. In this population-based survey, about 20 percent of girls reported having ever been physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner (Silverman et al., 2001). Traumas arising within the household are also common: about 26 percent of adults reported having grown up in a household4 with substance abuse, 19 percent with mental illness, 12.5 percent with violence against their mother, and 3.4 percent with a household member being incarcerated (Felitti et al., 1998).

According to official crime statistics,5 about 30 per 1000 children (ages 12–17) report being victims of serious violent crimes of rape, robbery, and

4  

The household adversity could have affected a parent or other adult (Felitti et al., 1998).

5  

The National Crime Victimization Survey.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement