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Dataset Details

The First National Juvenile Online Victimization Incidence Study (N-JOV-1)

Dataset Number: 135


David Finkelhor, Ph.D. University of New Hampshire Durham, NH Janis Wolak, J.D. University of New Hampshire Durham, NH Kimberly J. Mitchell, Ph.D. University of New Hampshire Durham, NH


The First National Juvenile Online Victimization Study (N-JOV) examines the incidence and characteristics of juvenile online victimization cases, including sexual exploitation and child pornography cases, in the criminal justice system. The specific goals were to:

  1. provide sound national estimates of the number of juvenile online victimization cases ending in arrest during a one-year time period (July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001);
  2. define categories and subcategories of juvenile online victimizations and describe case, offender and victim characteristics;
  3. make policy recommendations to increase reporting of these crimes and improve prevention measures and provision of victim services.

First, a national sample of 2,574 state, county, and local law enforcement agencies were surveyed by mail asking if they had made arrests in Internet-related child pornography or sexual exploitation cases. Then, detailed telephone interviews were conducted with investigators who had such cases. A stratified sample of law enforcement agencies was created to get information from agencies that specialized in Internet sex crimes against minors while still allowing every agency in the U.S. to be selected at random for the sample.

Eighty-eight percent of the agencies (n = 2,270) that received mail surveys responded. Seventeen percent of the agencies (n = 383) that responded reported 1,723 arrests. Interviews were conducted on all eligible cases that had identified victims or came from agencies reporting three or fewer cases. When agencies reported four or more cases, a random sample of cases was selected for interviews. A total of 612 unique interviews were completed. Data was weighted to estimate annual numbers of arrests. The procedure took into account sampling procedures and non-response, allowing use of the data to project estimated annual arrest totals with 95% confidence that the accurate number would fall within a specific range.

Law enforcement made an estimated 2,577 arrests during the 12 months starting July 1, 2000, for Internet sex crimes against minors. These Internet sex crimes against minors can be categorized into three mutually exclusive types:

  1. Internet crimes against identified victims involving Internet-related sexual assaults and other sex crimes such as the production of child pornography committed against identified victims (39% of arrests);
  2. Internet solicitations to undercover law enforcement posing as minors that involved no identified victims (25% of arrests);
  3. the possession, distribution, or trading of Internet child pornography by offenders who did not use the Internet to sexually exploit identified victims or solicit undercover investigators (36% of arrests).

Two-thirds (67%) of offenders who committed any of the types of Internet sex crimes against minors possessed child pornography. The vast majority of offenders were non-Hispanic White males older than 25 who were acting alone. Most investigations (79%) involved more than one law enforcement agency.

Bibliographic Citation

Finkelhor, D., Mitchell, K., & Wolak, J. (2009). National Juvenile Online Victimization Incidence Study (N-JOV-1), Version 1.1 [Dataset]. National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. Https://

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