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Children and young people as victims of crime

Children and young people can encounter crime in all kinds of everyday situations and places, at home, in school, during their free time and online. Often, the crimes are various forms of violence or can involve property. Children and young people are often in a weaker position than adults when they become victims, because they do not always realise that they are dealing with a crime, or they are not aware of their rights. Often they do not realise that they need help, nor do they know where to seek help.

Examples of crimes against children and young people

  • Assault (e.g. hitting)
  • Defamation (e.g. spreading untruthful information)
  • Disclosure of information that infringes privacy (e.g. spreading private information)
  • Rape (e.g. forcing into sexual intercourse)
  • Sexual harassment (e.g. sexual touching)
  • Civil wrong (e.g. damaging another person’s property)

Children and young people who have become victims of a crime can react to the event in all sorts of ways. It is therefore important that the symptoms are identified correctly. Parents and professionals can provide support to young persons who have become victims. It is possible to try to prevent further crimes against children and young people. Young people receive special treatment in criminal investigation and during criminal proceedings.

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