As sad as this story is it is even more tragic when

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As sad as this story is, it is even more tragic when one realizes that more and more children are, like Shavon Dean, being caught up in the crossfire of violence in the United States. Some, but certainly not all, of this violence and crime is gang related; much of it is perpetrated on children by adults. Although poor and minority youth are much more likely to experience vio- lence in their lives than White, middle- and upper-class children, the overall homicide rate for children in the United States is much higher than in any Copyright ©2018 by SAGE Publications, Inc. This work may not be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without express written permission of the publisher. Draft Proof - Do not copy, post, or distribute
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CHAPTER 11: Children, Social Problems, and Society 349 other industrialized country. In 1990, more than 3,000 15- to19-year-olds were murdered in the United States, a rate of nearly 17.0 per 100,000 chil- dren. There has, however, been a recent drop in violent crime in the United States. This decline has included crimes involving youth. For example, the homicide victim rate for 15- to 19-year-olds reached a high of 18.1 per 100,000 in 1994, and then the rate began to decline. In 2010, the rate was reduced by more than half, to 8.3 per 100,000 15- to 19-year-olds (Child Trends, 2012). While there are no comparable data for other industrialized countries for the same periods, data for around the year 2000 show much lower rates compared to the United States. Some countries with relatively high rates include Canada (1.7 per 100,000) and Italy (1.4 per 1,000). Overall, countries with low rates of youth homicide tend to be in Western Europe—for example, France (0.6 per 100,000), Germany (0.8 per 100,000), and the United Kingdom (0.9 per 100,000)—or in Asia, such as Japan (0.4 per 100,000). Several countries had fewer than 20 youth homicides in the year 2000 (World Health Organization, 2002). However, the data from the World Health Organization are for an age range of 10 to 29 years old, so we would expect that the rates for 15- to 19-year-olds would be much lower as compared to the United States. These differences are, of course, at least somewhat due to the wide availability of guns in the United States as com- pared to other industrialized countries. Yet the differences go well beyond differences in gun laws. The United States is a highly violent society. We have seen a similar decline in the number of victims of violent crimes other than homicide. Although this trend is a positive one, it is shocking to see that in 2008 and 2009, violent crime touched 12- to 15-year-old children more than any other age group. The data in Exhibit 11.5 are perhaps the most striking of any I have presented in this chapter. They show the number of victims of violent crimes, other than murder, by age group in the United States for 2002, 2008, and 2009. It is immediately clear that the odds of victimization are much higher in the lower age groups. The rates in the youngest three age groups do not vary substantially. Still, it is striking that the rate for 12- to 15-year-olds is now higher (and even more so in 2009
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