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The article is the first to take an inclusive look at the monumental problem of crime exposure during childhood, which is estimated to be one of the most damaging and costly public health and public safety problem in our society today. It takes-on the challenging task of ‘naming’ the problem by coining the term Comprehensive Childhood Crime Impact or in short the Triple-C Impact. Informed by scientific findings, the term embodies the full effect of direct and indirect crime exposure on children due to their unique developmental characteristics, and the spillover effect the problem has on our society as a whole.

Over the past decade mounting scientific evidences demonstrate the devastating effect of crime exposure to child development and life outcomes. Despite the indisputable severity of the problem, it is documented that the majority of children suffering the dire consequences of crime exposure are never identified. Even when identified, only a miniscule minority ever receive services or treatment to facilitate recovery. Until recently it was assumed that the deficiency in identification and service provision was the result of statutory gaps that prohibited eligibility for services from many categories of children exposed to crime, and particularly those affected by indirect exposure. The article presents the results of a unique 50-states survey that examines the root causes of the problem. Unexpectedly, the survey uncovers that the problem does not stem from statutory gaps, as previously assumed, but from deep system failures, access to information challenges, and lack of coordination among governing agencies and organizations.


crime; criminal justice; child law; victimization; violence; crime exposure; VOCA; victim compensation; victim assistace; law & social science; crime victim services; child protection