The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) collects information from victims on nonfatal violent and property crimes, reported and not reported to the police, against persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. It produces national rates and levels of personal and property victimization.
- Violent crimes measured include rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.
- Property crimes include burglary/trespassing, motor-vehicle theft, and other types of theft.
The Census Bureau has regulations to protect confidentiality of data, which prevents the public release of any information from small areas that might make it possible to identify individuals who participated in the survey. Geographically identified data from the NCVS can be made available to researchers on a restricted basis by applying for access through the Standard Application Process. For more information see: https://bjs.ojp.gov/standard-application-process.
Though the NCVS was originally designed to provide national level estimates of criminal victimization, BJS has recognized an increasing need for victimization data at the state and local level and has developed multiple approaches for obtaining subnational NCVS estimates. (See NCVS Subnational Estimates for additional information about these approaches.) However, caution should be used when working with the restricted use files since sample at the local level may be limited and is not necessarily representative of the area as a whole.
A victim service provider is a public or private organization that provides assistance to victims of crime.
Victim services are any efforts to assist victims; to promote their safety, security, or recovery; to help them participate in the criminal justice system; or to meet other victim needs.
Terms & Definitions
An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether the victim is injured, or an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.
Annual household income
An unlawful physical attack or threat of attack. Assaults may be classified as aggravated or simple. Rape, attempted rape, and sexual assaults are excluded from this category, as well as robbery and attempted robbery. The severity of assaults ranges from minor threats to nearly fatal incidents.
Victimizations and incidents are classified based on detailed characteristics of the event provided by the respondent. Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes at the time of interview. During data processing, a computer program classifies each event into one type of crime, based on the entries on a number of items on the survey questionnaire. This ensures that similar events will be classified using a standard procedure. The glossary definition for each crime indicates the major characteristics required to be so classified. 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, assault, burglary/trespassing, motor vehicle theft, and theft.
Hate crime victimization
Place of occurrence of crime
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