Changes in public awareness of the impact of crime on children have been significant since the 1980s, research studies have explored various aspects of child victimization, and new manifestations of child victimization have emerged.
Research has focused on such areas as the long-term mental health impact on children who experience and witness violence, motivations of perpetrators who prey on children, family dynamics of intrafamilial child abuse and neglect, and effective responses of professionals to child victims. Overall, greater attention has been paid to all forms of child victimization, including physical and sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, abduction, and psychological or emotional abuse. Research has also revealed new information about the intergenerational cycle of violence. Federal legislation and national programs to address the needs of child victims are addressed, as well as State legislation protecting child victims, innovative programs to respond to child victims, multidisciplinary initiatives, children's advocacy centers, child death review teams, and court-appointed special advocates. Juvenile court handling of child abuse and neglect cases and training needed to meet the needs of missing and exploited children are discussed. Recommendations to enhance services for child victims are offered. 46 endnotes
Date Published: January 1, 1998