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Publication Violent Victimization Committed by Strangers, 1993-2010

Erika Harrell, Ph.D.

December 11, 2012    NCJ 239424

Presents findings on the rates and levels of violent victimization committed by offenders who were strangers to the victims, including homicide, rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. The report presents annual trends and compares changes across three 6-year periods in the incidence and type of violence committed by strangers from 1993 through 2010. It describes the characteristics of victims and circumstances of the violent crime. The nonfatal violent victimization estimates were developed from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes, reported and not reported to the police, against persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. The homicide data are from the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) for 1993 through 2008.

Highlights:

  • In 2010, strangers committed about 38% of nonfatal violent crimes, including rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.
  • In 2005-10, about 10% of violent victimizations committed by strangers involved a firearm, compared to 5% committed by offenders known to the victim.
  • From 1993 to 2008, among homicides reported to the FBI for which the victim-offender relationship was known, between 21% and 27% of homicides were committed by strangers and between 73% and 79% were committed by offenders known to the victims.

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National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

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