Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden
Attorneys General Recognize October as National Crime Prevention and Domestic Violence Awareness Month
The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) urges you and your family to take part in National Crime Prevention and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
This year’s theme, Protecting Children and Youth, highlights the important role of parents, law enforcement, government agencies, civic groups, businesses, schools and other community partners working together to educate and protect this nation’s greatest resource --- its youth.
Crime statistics show that children and teens can easily become victims of identity theft, property theft, online predators, teen dating violence, bullying and other crimes.
According to a 2006 report issued by the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country and the largest number of individuals who reported being victims of identity theft are between the ages of 18 and 29. Many teens lack established credit records that can be monitored, allowing criminals to use their identities for years without being detected. Young victims of identity theft are often unaware that their identities have been stolen until they apply for a driver’s license or when their requests for credit cards or student loans are denied.
Research has also shown that juveniles, ages 12 to 17, were, on average, more than twice as likely as adults to be victims of violent crime. Despite being victimized more often than any other age groups, teens are the least likely to report these incidents.
In September, NAAG’s Task Force on School and Campus Safety issued a report on preventing violence at American schools and colleges. The report includes a number of recommendations to school and university administrators, law enforcement professionals, public policy makers and mental health professionals to ensure that schools and colleges are made as safe as possible without interfering with their educational mission.
Prevention and preparedness, which are two key themes in the school and campus safety report, are also critical components of this month’s special effort by the law enforcement community to raise awareness among youth and parents about important issues such as victimization, volunteerism, and creating safer communities.
To ensure that you and your child are not victims of crime, teach and practice sound crime prevention habits and encourage your child to share these practices with friends, other family members and the school community.
Everyone can do something to prevent crime. Here are a few tips to share with your children:
- Teach your children to refrain from providing personal information online, whether in instant message profiles, chat rooms, blogs, or personal websites.
- Urge your children to never share their computer passwords, even with friends.
- If someone sends a mean or threatening message, tell your child not to respond. Urge them to save the message, print it and show it to you.
- Encourage your child to report crimes or suspicious activities at school and in the neighborhood to school administrators, law enforcement or other adults.
- Invite your child to get out and get involved. Work together on anti-violence activities, clean up graffiti and enlist his/her friends to help get other youth involved in community service.
For more information on resources your state Attorney General may have for youth, visit http://www.naag.org/attorneys_general.php to contact your Attorney General.