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Teen Victims of Crime

You are not alone
  • Teens are more often victims of crime than adults.
  • Approximately, 1 in 5 teens is a victim of violent crime.
  • Although teens are only 14% of the U.S. population, they are 25% of the victim population.
  • Often victims are hurt by someone they know.

Why It’s Hard to Talk About It

Teens who have been hurt by crime may tell trusted friends about the victimization, but they often avoid or delay in telling adults about such traumatic experiences. Some of these reasons include:

  • Desire for privacy – You may feel ashamed to have people know the details of their victimization.
  • Fear of consequence – You may believe that disclosing victimization will only make things worse.
  • Lack of awareness – You may not be aware that a crime has occurred or that anyone can help.
  • Need for independence – You may fear that adults will take over and you will lose control and decision-making power in the situation.
  • Shame – Fear of others’ reactions is a leading reason that youth delay in getting help.
  • Trust issues – You may think that adults won’t believe you or won’t understand what you have been through.

If you talk with someone:
  • Learn that it is not your fault that someone hurt you.
  • Get support to be safe.
  • Start the process of feeling better.
  • Have a better chance of healing and getting your life back.
  • Don’t have to carry the burden by yourself.
  • May find out that other people have been through similar things.
  • May feel more hopeful about your life.

Common Reactions of Victims:
  • Feeling hopeless about whether or not something can be done
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Fear of being hurt again
  • Feeling ashamed
  • Wanting to hurt yourself or someone else
  • Blaming yourself for what happened
  • Worrying about your privacy
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Not wanting to eat
  • Feeling like you have no friends
  • Being afraid to go out

If you are feeling some of these ways, you should know that you are not alone and help and support are available.
Victim Assistance can provide teens and parents with:
  • Information on crime victims’ rights and services available to those who have experienced victimization.
  • Safety planning for ideas to keep safe.
  • Information on what to expect at different points during the investigative process.
  • Advocacy
  • Referrals to other community agencies for additional resources and for long-term support.