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Victims of Violence from Weapons More Likely to Report of high Trauma: Study

According to the results of a telephone-based survey, more than one-quarter of all children nationwide have been exposed to violence involving a weapon.

Victims of weapons more likely to report high adversity and trauma Photo Credit: Google Images

Victims of weapons more likely to report high adversity and trauma
Photo Credit: Google Images

Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD of the University of New Hampshire and colleagues have reported that over 17.5 million children (26.5% of the sample) of ages 2 to 17 have either been victimized by weapons, such as a knife, gun, stick and rock or witnessed victimization with a weapon.

Of those surveyed, 2 million children (12.5%) experienced direct victimization, while 13.1% reported indirect victimization, they wrote in Pediatrics.

Weapons with a “high lethality risk” such as guns and knives, with 3.1% of the victimized sample reporting at least one direct (2.1%) or indirect (0.9%) incident involving these types of weapons in the past year was separately examined for the study. Those children living with a non-parent adult caregiver (7.9%) and older age (6.3% of 14 to 17 year old) was included in risk factors.

Those victimized by a knife or gun were more likely to be associated with personal weapon carrying (13.2%), per weapon carrying in the past year (12.3%) and victimization at least seven times (“poly victimization status”) in the last year (8.4% which is not surprising.

A greater proportion of these victims were also more likely to report experiencing trauma symptoms in the last month (5.3% Yes versus 2.7% No) and high adversity from their experiences in the last year (4.6% Yes versus 2.6% No).

“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,” she said. “We wanted to get a sense of how often this was happening — go from there, put a number to the problem and see how it was impacting kids.”

About Enozia Vakil

Enozia Vakil is an online entrepreneur, writer, editor and an avid reader. She has been associated with some of the best names in both online and print media, and holds a degree in Alternative Medicine.