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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 4:30 P.M. EDT BJS SUNDAY, JULY 26, 1998 202/307-0784 revised 7/28/98 th ABOUT 2 MILLION PEOPLE ATTACKED OR THREATENED IN THE WORKPLACE EVERY YEAR WASHINGTON, D.C. -- About 2 million people a year were victims of violent crime or threatened violent crime in the workplace from 1992 through 1996, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. An estimated 1.5 million of such incidents (75 percent) were simple assaults. Of the occupations examined, law enforcement officers, corrections officers and taxicab drivers were victimized at the highest rates. During this same 1992-1996 period, an average of about 330,000 retail employees were victimized annually, and about 84,000 employees were robbed in the workplace. Between 1994 and 1996 violent victimizations in the workplace decreased by 21 percent, paralleling a 17 percent decline in overall violent crime during that period. BJS Director Jan Chaiken said: "About 37 percent of the victims of workplace violence said they knew their offenders, but very few--only about 1 percent--were victimized by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend in contrast to other violent incidents. Nationwide, 21 percent of all violence against women and 2 percent of violence against men is committed by intimates." Among all workplace victims of violent crimes or threats of violence, 67 percent were male and 33 percent were female. About 12 percent of the victimizations resulted in injuries, about half of which received medical attention. The estimated annual victimizations for the years 1992 through 1996 for workplace crimes counted in BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey and by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were as follows: Simple assaults 1.5 million Aggravated assaults 396,000 Robberies 84,000 Rapes and sexual assaults 51,000 Homicides 1,000 The rate of violence per 1,000 workers during the five-year period for selected occupations was as follows: Law enforcement officer 306 Prison or jail corrections officer 218 Taxi driver 184 Private security guard 117 Bartender 91 Mental health professional 80 Gas station attendant 79 Convenience or liquor store clerk 68 Mental health custodial worker 63 Junior high/middle school teacher 57 Bus driver 45 Special education teacher 41 High school teacher 29 Elementary school teacher 16 College or university teacher 3 The occupations examined included those that prior studies have deemed to be more vulnerable to criminal victimizations. Fewer than half of all nonfatal workplace crimes are reported to police. BLS data showed that homicide was the second leading cause of death in the workplace, following highway fatalities, during the five-year study period. The workplace murders accounted for one of every six fatal occupational injuries. Firearms were used to commit more than 80 percent of the workplace homicides. About 20 percent were the result of bombings, stabbings or beatings. This figure includes employees among the 168 deaths from the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The report, "Workplace Violence, 1992-96" (NCJ-168634) was written by BJS statistician Greg Warchol. Single copies may be obtained from the BJS fax-on-demand system by dialing 301/519-5550, listening to the menu, and selecting document number 118 or by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800/732-3277. The BJS Internet site is: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/ Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained from the Office of Justice Programs Internet homepage at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov # # # BJS98150 After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354 revised 7/28/98 th (End of file)