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Victimization, Fear, and Avoidance Behaviors at School

In the 2009 SCS, students were asked how often they had been afraid of an attack or harm at school during the school year. Students were also asked whether they skipped school or class, avoided school activities, or avoided specific places inside the school building—including the entrance into the school, hallways or stairs, parts of the cafeteria, restrooms, and other places inside the school building—because they thought someone might attack or harm them.

The findings for fear and avoidance behaviors were mixed. Although higher percentages of student victims of any crime (12.5 percent) and of violent crime (22.7 percent) reported being afraid of attack or harm than student nonvictims (3.9 percent) (figure 5 and table 7), no measurable differences were found between the percentages of victims of any crime and nonvictims who reported skipping school or class. However, higher percentages of student victims of any crime and violent crime reported avoiding specific places in school than did student nonvictims (10.5 percent and 16.8 percent vs. 3.7 percent, respectively).