BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Violent crime
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Violent crime includes murder, rape and sexual assault, robbery, and assault. Information about murder is obtained on a yearly basis from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. There are two measures for non-fatal violence—the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).  NCVS measures rape/sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault.

The Nation's Two Crime Measures

  • BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)- reported and unreported crime from the victim's perspective.
  • FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) - crimes reported by law enforcement

Like many other indicators used to assess conditions in the United States, these two indicators of crime complement each other to produce a more comprehensive portrait of the nation's crime problem.

Some of the differences between UCR and NCVS are –

  UCR NCVS
Geographic coverage National & State estimates, local agency reports National estimates
Collection method Reports by law enforcement to the FBI on a monthly basis Survey of as many as 77,200 households and 134,000 individuals age 12 or older.
Measures Index crimes* reported by law enforcement Reported and unreported crime; details about the crimes, victims, and offenders

 *seven serious crimes

For more information about the purposes and advantages of the UCR and the NCVS, see The Nation's Two Crime Measures

Publications & Products


Criminal Victimization, 2014 Presents 2014 estimates of rates and levels of criminal victimization in the United States.
  Press Release | PDF (745KB) | ASCII file (42KB) | Comma Separated Values (CSV) (Zip format)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Socio-emotional Impact of Violent Crime Examines victims' socio-emotional problems resulting from violent crime, including moderate to severe distress, problems with family or friend relationships, or problems at work or school.
  Press Release | PDF (1.5M) | ASCII file (56K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 42K)

The Nation's Two Measures of Homicide Summarizes the United States' two national data collection systems related to homicide: the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Supplementary Homicide Reports and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Fatal Injury Reports.
  PDF (578K) | ASCII file (21K)

Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003–2012 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACCOUNTED FOR ABOUT A FIFTH OF ALL VIOLENT VICTIMIZATIONS BETWEEN 2003 AND 2012
  Press Release

Hate Crime Victimization, 2004-2012 - Statistical Tables U.S. RESIDENTS EXPERIENCED ABOUT 293,800 HATE CRIME VICTIMIZATIONS IN 2012 UNCHANGED FROM 2004
  Press Release
Part of the Hate Crime Series

Hate Crime Victimization, 2004–2012 - Statistical Tables Presents counts and rates of hate crime victimization in 2012, using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
  Press Release | PDF (1.9M) | ASCII file (28K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 33K)
Part of the Hate Crime Series

Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes of Victimization, 1993–2011 Presents data on trends in nonfatal intimate partner violence among U.S. households from 1993 to 2011. Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
  Press Release | PDF (1M) | ASCII file (33K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 25K)
Part of the Intimate Partner Violence Series

Criminal Victimization, 2012 Presents 2012 estimates of rates and levels of criminal victimization in the U.S. This bulletin includes violent victimization (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault) and property victimization (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft).
  Press Release | PDF (836K) | ASCII file (38K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 48K)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Criminal Victimization, 2012 FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR VIOLENT AND PROPERTY CRIME RATES INCREASED IN 2012 Increases driven by simple assaults and crime not reported to police
  Press Release
Part of the Criminal Victimization in the United States Series

Firearm Violence, 1993-2011 Presents trends on the number and rate of fatal and nonfatal firearm violence from 1993 to 2011. The report examines incident and victim demographic characteristics of firearm violence, including the type of firearm used, victim's race, age, and sex, and incident location.
  Press Release | PDF (1.6M) | ASCII file (43K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 46K)

Terms & Definitions

Aggravated assault An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether an injury occurred, and an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.
With injury - An attack without a weapon when serious injury results or an attack with a weapon involving any injury. Serious injury includes broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization.

Threatened with a weapon - Threat or attempted attack by an offender armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as a weapon that does not result in victim injury.

 
Hate crime victimization Refers to a single victim or household that experienced a criminal incident believed by the victim to be motivated by prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), Hate Crime Statistics Program, are the principal sources of annual information on hate crime in the United States and use the definition of hate crime provided in the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. ยง 534).
 
Rape Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender (s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.
 
Robbery Completed or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.
Completed/property taken - The successful taking of property from a person by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.

Completed with injury - The successful taking of property from a person, accompanied by an attack, either with or without a weapon, resulting in injury.

Completed without injury - The successful taking of property from a person by force or the threat of force, either with or without a weapon, but not resulting in injury.

Attempted to take property - The attempt to take property from a person by force or threat of force without success, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.

Attempted without injury - The attempt to take property from a person by force or the threat of force without success, either with or without a weapon, but not resulting in injury.

Attempted with injury - The attempt to take property from a person without success, accompanied by an attack, either with or without a weapon, resulting in injury.

 
Sexual assault A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.