Crime victimization and child well-being

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter reviews findings regarding the effects of crime on the well-being of victimized children and identifies what helps them on the road to recovery in the aftermath of their victimization. The chapter places these findings within the theoretical framework of a needs-rights model for child victims developed by the author elsewhere (Gal 2011). The model incorporates an empirical layer, based on the findings from the psychosocial literature described here, and a normative layer, based on relevant provisions from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Constructed of four needs-rights clusters of protection, best interests, control, and procedural justice, the model highlights diverse and multifaceted insights regarding the ways in which the well-being of children is affected by crime as well as by the legal processes that follow it. Such insights are relevant in shaping child-inclusive policies for processes that follow the victimization of children. The negative impacts of crime on children are surprisingly wide-ranging both in terms of the types of offenses that scar children and in the ways children are affected. The central strength-based findings reviewed in this chapter relate to control as a coping mechanism for children in stressful situations; children’s wishes to participate in legal processes even when “sensitive” issues are discussed; children’s high regard for fairness, respectful listening, and representation in formal processes; the importance of apology and forgiveness for the well-being of children and youths; and the central role of support networks for children coping with stress and victimization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Child Well-Being
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Methods and Policies in Global Perspective
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9789048190638
ISBN (Print)9789048190621
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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