U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Socio-emotional Impact of Violent Crime

Date Published
September 2014
Author(s)
Lynn Langton, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics; Jennifer L. Truman, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics
Publication Type
Publication
Annotation
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.
Abstract

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. The report explores the relationship between the socio-emotional response to crime and the characteristics of the victim and the incident, such as the victim-offender relationship, injury, weapon use, and demographic characteristics. It examines the emotional and physical symptoms associated with socio-emotional problems, and the association between victim help-seeking behaviors and the experience of socio-emotional problems. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault) victimization reported and not reported to the police.

Highlights
  • Overall, 68% of victims of serious violence experienced socio-emotional problems as a result of their victimization.
  • Regardless of the type of violence experienced, a greater percentage of victims of intimate partner violence than stranger violence experienced socio-emotional problems.
  • Twelve percent of victims who experienced socio-emotional problems received victim services, compared to 5% of victims reporting no socio-emotional problems.
  • More than a third of victims reporting severe distress and nearly half of those with moderate distress did not report to the police or receive any assistance from victim services.
  • About three-quarters of victims of rape or sexual assault (75%), robbery (74%), violence involving a firearm (74%), and violence resulting in medical treatment for injuries (77%) experienced socio-emotional problems.
Date Created: September 22, 2014