10:12am

Fri May 2, 2014
Science

Tenn. Researcher Says Violence Against Children in Decline

Dr.Sherry Hamby, University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.
Credit UOS

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A study out this week by a Tennessee researcher suggests violence against children is on the decline.

Dr. Sherry Hamby teaches at the University of the South in Sewanee. She co-authored a multi-year study on children and violence published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hamby says she and her colleagues looked at 50 different categories of child victimization and found that more than half were in decline nationwide. Only a handful were showing signs of increase.

She says exactly why the numbers are falling is still to be determined, but suggests there are important clues.

“There’s some new data – not in our study – recently, for example, that cell phones could have an important crime deterrent. Because now people can access the police or other sources of help much more quickly. I think we need to do more research on that and get even better at solving this problem.”

Hamby and her colleagues will complete a study later this month that looks specifically at children and violence here in Tennessee.