The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 240,000 persons in about 150,000 households on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The NCVS collects information on nonfatal personal crimes (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, and personal larceny) and household property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and other theft) both reported and not reported to police. Survey respondents provide information about themselves (e.g., age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, education level, and income) and whether they experienced a victimization. For each victimization incident, the NCVS collects information about the offender (e.g., age, race and Hispanic origin, sex, and victim-offender relationship), characteristics of the crime (including time and place of occurrence, use of weapons, nature of injury, and economic consequences), whether the crime was reported to police, reasons the crime was or was not reported, and victim experiences with the criminal justice system.
Percent of person or households in a given population who experienced at least one victimization during the year.
Number of victimizations per 1,000 persons or households in a given population that occurred during the year.
A victimization is a single victim or household that experiences a criminal incident. Criminal incidents or crimes are distinguished from victimizations in that one criminal incident may have multiple victims or victimizations. For violent crimes (rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault) and for personal theft/larceny, the count of victimizations is the number of individuals who experienced a violent crime. For crimes against households (burglary, trespassing, other theft, and motor-vehicle theft), each household affected by a crime is counted as a single victimization.
No. The total homicide count includes all types of intentional homicide and involuntary manslaughter as ruled by a medical examiner or other official medical investigation. The total includes homicides committed by inmates. It also includes homicides as a result of staff use of force, such as positional asphyxia, or suffocation caused by the position of the inmate's body, while the inmate is being removed from a cell. It includes legal-intervention homicides (e.g., an inmate is shot in the process of escape). The count also includes deaths caused by events prior to incarceration (e.g., an inmate was shot during an altercation on the street and dies from complications of the gunshot wound while incarcerated).
Homicide is the killing of a human being by another human being. The ARD program gathers data on homicides that occur during an arrest process regardless of whether the homicide was attributed to law enforcement personnel or a civilian.
Justifiable homicide is the killing by law enforcement personnel that is justified by law and for which no criminal punishment is imposed. These deaths occur as a result of officers performing their legal duty to protect and serve the public and may result from actions taken in self-defense. Justifiable homicides by law enforcement officers include deaths attributed to shooting, asphyxia during restraint, injuries sustained during an altercation, and the use of technologies, such as chemical sprays and conducted energy devices.
A suicide, or the intentional killing of oneself, is considered arrest related if the deceased interacted with state or local law enforcement officers immediately prior to taking his or her life. The most common type of reported arrest-related suicide involves decedents engaged in armed standoffs with law enforcement personnel. Other arrest-related suicides include suspects who committed suicide to evade physical custody while law enforcement personnel attempted to apprehend them. The ARD collection excludes suicides of persons with issued arrest warrants if the suicide occurred before the police located the decedent.
Domestic relationships include intimate partners, immediate family members, and other relatives.
Intimate relationships are defined as current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends, including same sex relationships. Intimates are distinguished from
- other relatives, such as a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, in-law, cousin
- acquaintances, such as a friend, coworker, neighbor, schoolmate, someone known
- strangers who are anyone not previously known by the victim.
Violence between intimates is difficult to measure because it often occurs in private, and victims are often reluctant to report incidents to anyone because of shame or fear of reprisal.