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BJS Victims Statistics & Info
Crime Characteristics And Trends
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks a series of screening questions of all household members to determine if they had any crime incidents. The household respondent, an adult household member with knowledge about the household, is asked about both personal and property crimes. Other household members are asked about personal crimes. If a respondent indicates that an incident(s) occurred, an incident form(s) is administered to obtained detailed information about the characteristics of each incident. Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes. Classification is based on the information provided on the incident form. If an event can be classified as more than one type of crime, a hierarchy is used that classifies the crime according to the most serious event that occurred. The hierarchy from highest to lowest is: rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft or theft. All data from the incident form is retained on public use data tapes. It is possible to analyze incidents that include more than one crime such as a violent crime which included a burglary.
Reporting Crimes To Police
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks victims of crime whether the crimes were reported to police. Data are available on both crimes reported to the police as well as those that were not reported. The data on crime reported to police are based on information the victims give at the time of interview about whether they or someone else reported the incident.
Research And Development
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) was instituted in 1972 to produce national estimates of the levels and characteristics of criminal victimization in the United States, including crime not reported to police departments. Along with the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), the NCVS constitutes a key component of our nation's system to measure the extent and nature of crime in the United States.
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) periodically collects information through supplements which are presented as special topics. In addition, recurring data is sometimes analyzed and presented as special topic.
Current special topics are: Intimate partner violence, Identity theft, Stalking, School crime.
The Crime Event
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks a number of questions about the crime event when respondents indicate that they were victimized by one or more of the measured crimes. The measured crimes include rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, personal theft, household burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft.
Victim Service Providers
The National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP) is a project aimed at filling an important information gap in our understanding of victimization, namely the range of services available for and provided to different types of crime victims. For more than two decades, programs such as the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) have been working to enhance our nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and promote justice through the delivery of support services to victims of crime. However, relatively little research has been done to demonstrate the coverage and effectiveness of this service infrastructure or to identify areas in which victims are still in need of services.
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) provides information of characteristics of victims, including age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status and household income. For violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, assault, and robbery) the characteristics are based upon the victim who experienced the crime. For property crimes (household burglary, motor vehicle theft, property theft) the characteristics are based upon the household respondent who provided information about these crimes for the household. Property crimes are defined as affecting the entire household.
Victims And Offenders
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) obtains information about offender(s) who commit violent victimizations from the victim who experienced the crime. The victim is asked to provide information on age, race, and gender of the offender. The victim is also asked about his/her relationship with the offender, whether the victim perceived that the offender was drunk or on drugs, and whether the offender was a gang member. For crimes committed by strangers, the victim may not be able to provide all of the information. For crimes in which a relative, friend, or acquaintance was the offender, the victim may have more detailed information about the offender. Victims are encouraged to think about incidents committed by relatives or other non-strangers which may have been a crime and describe these incidents in the interview. Information about non-stranger crime still may be underreported in the survey, since some victims may not feel comfortable providing such information or victims may not perceive some events as crimes.