BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Publication Victims of Crime

March 1, 1981    NCJ 79615

In the NCS, interviews were conducted twice yearly with all members of a national sample of 60,000 households to determine whether they had been crime victims. In 1979, there were about 41 million victimizations in the Nation. In 1980, more than 24 million households had at least 1 member victimized by some type of crime. According to the NCS, the most frequent crime was theft against a household or an individual. Of the personal crimes measured by the NCS, men are more often victimized than women for every crime except rape. Both men and women are more likely to be victims of simple assault than of any other violent crime. In every category of crime except purse snatching and pocket picking, the elderly have substantially lower victimization rates than do younger people. The NCS also found that blacks are relatively more frequently victims of violence than whites and that persons who are divorced or have never been married are more likely to be victims of personal crime than the married or widowed. The pamphlet examines the impact of crime on victims, the chances of being a victim, and information still needed about crime victims. Footnotes, figures, and seven references are included.

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