Native youth victimization outpaces nation
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American Indian and Alaska Native teens have the highest rate of victimization than any other racial or ethnic group in the country, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Based on federal statistics, Native youth ages 12 to 17 were more likely to be the victims of rapes, assaults, shootings, beatings and related crimes than their counterparts, Between 1992 and 1996, for example, the rate of violent crimes among Indian teens was 49 percent higher than that of African-Americans.

Indian youth were also more likely to be victims of abuse and mistreatment, according to the report. Native teens are about twice as likely as their counterparts to have "substantiated" cases of neglect, according to federal data.

"Our Vulnerable Teenagers: Their Victimization, Its Consequences, and Directions for Prevention and Intervention," was released by the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD). The advocacy groups said teen problems -- including criminal behavior -- could be predicted by rates of victimization.

"This report serves as a wake up call to all of us that teenagers are particularly vulnerable to crime, and affirms that teenage victimization can profoundly alter the course of lives," said Susan Herman, executive director of the NCVC.

The effects of violent crime can be great. According to the report, abused and victimized teens are more likely to suffer physical and emotional problems, perform poorly in school and turn to drugs and alcohol.

A "cycle of violence' also develops among poor, minority youth who are victims of crimes, the report stated. Children with a history of abuse, for example, were twice a likely to engage in criminal activities, according to research cited by the report.

The report's data echoes findings among the adult American Indian and Alaska Native populations. For three years in a row, Indian Country has topped violent crime statistics compiled by the Department of Justice.

And wile crime has decreased or held steady for the rest of the country, Indian Country hasn't seen the same trend, based on DOJ and FBI reports. Domestic violence against women, rapes and hate crimes are disproportionate among Natives of all ages.

Relevant Documents:
Our Vulnerable Teenagers: Their Victimization, Its Consequences, and Directions for Prevention and Intervention (7/16)

Relevant Links:
National Center for Victims of Crime -

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