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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - December 22, 2017 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 8256
Date: 2009-09-16

Author:Ben Saunders

Subject:Re: New FBI data

These trends are encouraging, and certainly better than if they were in the opposite direction. However, we must keep in mind that this report describes crimes reported to cooperating law enforcement agencies or "offenses known to law enforcement." Factors that might create an interaction between time and the mechanisms that crimes become known to the police need to be considered when examining changes, particularly changes from year to year. Estimating the standard error of UCR figures for any one year is a challenge since some rates are estimated and others are not. Also, since the data collection results and some methods do change from year to year, interpreting annual changes can be difficult. As the FBI says... "In response to various circumstances, the FBI calculates estimated offense totals for certain states. For example, some states do not provide forcible rape figures in accordance with UCR guidelines. In addition, problems at the state level have, at times, resulted in no useable data. Also, the conversion of the NIBRS data to Summary Reporting System data has contributed to the need for unique estimation procedures." (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/about/table_methodology.html). These factors may push the standard error of annual estimates beyond the annual changes, or at least account for a healthy proportion of the change. Still, even with the arcane methodological challenges to interpretation of change, the trend is in the "right" direction and something we should be encouraged by. Ben Finkelhor, David wrote: The FBI reported yesterday that crime dropped 2% from 2007 to 2008. All forms of violent crime were down including rape, which was down 1.6% in raw numbers and 2.4% in rate. While there is no specific child victimization category, bear in mind that well over half of the rapes known to law enforcement are against persons under the age of 18, so that this rape decline is very much a drop in child victimization. Importantly, the rape rate is down 9.6% since 2004, considerably more of a decline than the overall crime drop during this period. It is hard to know whether the recession will push crime and rape rates up, but some of the effects of the downturn were clearly being felt in the latter half of 2008, which is part of the period covered by this FBI data. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that some of the ameliorative influences are recession proof. For more data, see: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_01a.html David Finkelhor Crimes against Children Research Center Family Research Laboratory Department of Sociology, University of New Hampshire Durham, NH 03824 Tel 603 862-2761* Fax 603 862-1122 email: david.finkelhor@unh.edu My new book has been released. Click on it for more details and to order. http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/ http://www.unh.edu/frl/ -- Benjamin E. Saunders, Ph.D. National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina 67 President Street, MSC 861 843-792-2945 Phone Charleston, SC 29425 www.musc.edu/ncvc Take our web-based course, TF-CBTWeb, at www.musc.edu/tfcbt

These trends are encouraging, and certainly better than if they were in the opposite direction. However, we must keep in mind that this report describes crimes reported to cooperating law enforcement agencies or "offenses known to law enforcement." Factors that might create an interaction between time and the mechanisms that crimes become known to the police need to be considered when examining changes, particularly changes from year to year. Estimating the standard error of UCR figures for any one year is a challenge since some rates are estimated and others are not. Also, since the data collection results and some methods do change from year to year, interpreting annual changes can be difficult. As the FBI says... "In response to various circumstances, the FBI calculates estimated offense totals for certain states. For example, some states do not provide forcible rape figures in accordance with UCR guidelines. In addition, problems at the state level have, at times, resulted in no useable data. Also, the conversion of the NIBRS data to Summary Reporting System data has contributed to the need for unique estimation procedures." (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/about/table_methodology.html). These factors may push the standard error of annual estimates beyond the annual changes, or at least account for a healthy proportion of the change. Still, even with the arcane methodological challenges to interpretation of change, the trend is in the "right" direction and something we should be encouraged by. Ben Finkelhor, David wrote: The FBI reported yesterday that crime dropped 2% from 2007 to 2008. All forms of violent crime were down including rape, which was down 1.6% in raw numbers and 2.4% in rate. While there is no specific child victimization category, bear in mind that well over half of the rapes known to law enforcement are against persons under the age of 18, so that this rape decline is very much a drop in child victimization. Importantly, the rape rate is down 9.6% since 2004, considerably more of a decline than the overall crime drop during this period. It is hard to know whether the recession will push crime and rape rates up, but some of the effects of the downturn were clearly being felt in the latter half of 2008, which is part of the period covered by this FBI data. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that some of the ameliorative influences are recession proof. For more data, see: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_01a.html David Finkelhor Crimes against Children Research Center Family Research Laboratory Department of Sociology, University of New Hampshire Durham, NH 03824 Tel 603 862-2761* Fax 603 862-1122 email: david.finkelhorunh.edu My new book has been released. Click on it for more details and to order. http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/ http://www.unh.edu/frl/ -- Benjamin E. Saunders, Ph.D. National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina 67 President Street, MSC 861 843-792-2945 Phone Charleston, SC 29425 www.musc.edu/ncvc Take our web-based course, TF-CBTWeb, at www.musc.edu/tfcbt