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.
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.
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.
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
An attack or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether an injury occurred, and an attack without a weapon when serious injury results.
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.
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.
Hate crime victimization
Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.
Completed or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.
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.
Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury (e.g., bruises, black eyes, cuts, scratches, or swelling), or an undetermined injury requiring fewer than two days of hospitalization. Also includes attempted assault without a weapon.
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.