Young people: victims of violence

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is two-fold. (a) Highlight recent research, practice and policy developments in the field of young people, victims of crime across home, school and community. (b) Increase awareness across health, education, justice and social care about the need to recognise psychopathology in young victims and to refer on for appropriate interventions.

Recent findings

Recent findings include developing early identification, recognition and reporting mechanisms in A&E services. There is under-reporting of assaults against young people to juvenile justice services. The importance of utilizing the young user's perspective to inform this field of practice and research. The complex interactions of community and family violence, including the impact of siblings and peers, influence of ethnic and cultural background and under-recognition of the impact of dating violence on adolescent girls. Differences and similarities of violence perpetrated by girls and boys. The rise in gun-related crime and involvement of youth in hate crime. Refined understanding of the process of victims into victimizers, including sexual victimization. The importance of secondary prevention strategies targeting young people at risk of violent behaviours and good outcomes in spite of threats to adaptational development, resilience limited by co-existing vulnerabilities. Developing programmes in neighbourhoods and schools and specific approaches for traumatized young people.


The recent evidence base in the field of young people as victims of violence is beginning to identify processes, mechanisms and interventions that can start to counteract the damage done to the individual, families, communities and generations of children.

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