BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  | Terms & Definitions: Victims | Crime characteristics and trends | Violent crime
Terms & Definitions: Violent crime

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. BJS's 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 and 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 rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex 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, with or without a weapon, resulting in injury.

Completed without injury - The successful taking of property from a person by force or threat of force, 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 threat of force without success, 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, 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.

Simple assault
Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury (e.g., bruises, black eyes, cuts, scratches, or swelling), or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization. Also includes attempted assault without a weapon.

With minor injury - An attack without a weapon resulting in injuries such as bruises, black eyes, cuts, or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization.

Without injury - An attempted assault without a weapon but not resulting in injury.

Violence, crimes of
Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, or assault. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes. It does not include purse snatching and pocket picking. Murder is not measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) because of an inability to question the victim.

Completed violence - The sum of all completed rapes, sexual assaults, robberies, and assaults. See individual crime types for definitions of completed crimes.

Attempted/threatened violence - The unsuccessful attempt of rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, or assault. Includes attempted attacks or sexual assaults by means of verbal threats. See individual crime types for definitions of attempted crimes.


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