skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 228433 Find in a Library
Title: Factors Affecting Perceived Criminality: Evidence From Victims of Assault
Author(s): Joe Clare; Frank Morgan
Date Published: June 2009
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Criminology Research Council
Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Grant Number: 12/06-07
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: News/Media
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Using data from Australia’s 2005 Personal Safety Survey (PSS), this study examined the extent to which surveyed assault incidents were perceived by victims as crimes, aspects of such incidents that predict victims’ perceptions, and any variations in findings by sex.
Abstract: The survey found that only 44 percent who reported experiencing assault incidents as described in the survey perceived the incident as a crime. Male victims under 25 years old were less likely than other assault victims to perceive an assault as a crime; and women victims of assault were less likely to perceive such an incident as criminal if the perpetrator was known to them. The severity of the assault increased the likelihood that the assault would be perceived by the victim as a crime; however, the location of the assault was predictive of perceptions of criminality for male victims only. These findings indicate that how victims perceive incidents defined under the law as criminal offenses determines whether they report the incidents to police for subsequent processing by the criminal justice system. The findings also suggest that strategies for reducing violence should address victim perceptions of what constitutes a violent crime under the law. The 2005 PSS sampled 16,413 individuals (11,861 females and 4,552 males). The survey obtained demographic data from each respondent, as well as information on any history of childhood abuse, harassment, experiences of partner violence, stalking, and violence. The analysis focused on 1,557 victims’ most recent incident of physical assault perpetrated by a male offender that had occurred within the past 5 years. 2 tables, 3 figures, and 28 references
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Aggravated assault; Foreign criminal justice research; Gender issues; Victim attitudes; Victimization surveys
Note: Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 376, June 2009
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.