Violent crime includes murder, rape and sexual assault, robbery, and assault. Information about murder is obtained on a yearly basis from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. There are two measures for nonfatal violence—the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS measures rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault.
The Nation's Two Crime Measures
- BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) - reported and unreported crime from the victim's perspective
- FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) - crimes reported by law enforcement
Like many other indicators used to assess conditions in the United States, these two indicators of crime complement each other to produce a more comprehensive portrait of the nation's crime problem.
Some of the differences between UCR and NCVS are—
|Geographic coverage||National and state estimates, local agency reports||National estimates|
|Collection method||Reports by law enforcement to the FBI on a monthly basis||Survey data obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 240,000 interviews, which involves 160,000 unique persons in about 95,000 households.|
|Measures||Index crimes* reported by law enforcement||Reported and unreported crime; details about the crimes, victims, and offenders|
*seven serious crimes
For more information about the purposes and advantages of the UCR and the NCVS, see The Nation's Two Crime Measures.
Number of victimizations per 1,000 persons or households in a given population that occurred during the year.
The measurement of rape and sexual assault presents many challenges. Victims may not be willing to reveal or share their experiences with an interviewer. The level and type of sexual violence reported by victims is sensitive to a variety of factors related to the interview process, including how items are worded, what definitions are used, and the data collection mode. In addition, the legal definitions of rape and sexual assault vary across jurisdictions. While the change in the rape or sexual assault rate from year to year may be significantly different, care should be taken in interpreting this change because the estimates of rape or sexual assault are based on a small number of cases reported to the survey. Therefore, small absolute changes and fluctuations in the rates of victimization can result in larger year-to-year change estimates. BJS has initiated projects to identify, develop, and test the best methods for collecting self-report data on rape and sexual assault. For more information on BJS's active research program on the collection of rape and sexual assault data, see Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault.
Reports on violence in the workplace offer the latest information on nonfatal and fatal forms of violence against private-sector and government employees that occur where they are working or on duty.
Terms & Definitions
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
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.
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
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.