Workplace Violence and Crime

In 1995, 1,024 Americans were victims of workplace homicide (includes murders by co-workers, personal acquaintances or by persons in the commission of other crimes). Of this number, 780 victims were male, and 244 were female; 65 percent of victims were white, 20 percent were black, 13 percent Hispanic, 9 percent Asian Pacific Islander, and 6 percent other or unspecified. (Researchers note that persons identified as Hispanic may be of any race; therefore, detail may not add to total.) (Bureau of Justice Statistics. Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1996, p. 342. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Victims pay about $44 billion of the $57 billion in tangible nonservice expenses for traditional crimes of violence. Employers pay almost $5 billion because of these crimes (health insurance bills, sick leave, and disability insurance), and government bears the remaining costs through lost tax revenues and Medicare and Medicaid payments. (U.S. News and World Report, July 1, 1996.)

Each year, nearly one million individuals become victims of violent crime while working or on duty. Although men were more likely to be attacked at work by a stranger, women were more likely to be attacked by someone they knew. (Bachman, R. (1994, July). "Violence and Theft in the Workplace." Crime Data Brief: National Crime Victimization Survey, p. 1. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.)

Overall, one out of every six violent crimes experienced by U.S. residents age 12 or older happens at work. (Ibid. p. 1)

According to the latest Bureau of Justice Statistics' annual crime survey, an estimated eight percent of rapes, seven percent of robberies, and 16 percent of all assaults occurred while victims were working or on duty. (Ibid., p. 1)

Guns were the primary weapon in 86 percent of workplace homicides that took place in 1994, followed by stabbing and beating. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1995, p. 364. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that homicide was the second leading cause of death of workers killed on the job in 1993. (Hutchinson, T. (1995, April). "Vetoing Violence in the Workplace". Solutions Magazine, p. 41.)

One-sixth of all workplace homicides of women are committed by a spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. (Windau, J. & Toscano, G. (1994, May). "Workplace Homicides in 1992." Fatal Workplace Injuries in 1992: A Collection of Data and Analysis, p. 1. Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.)

Boyfriends and husbands, both current and former, commit more than 13,000 acts of violence against women in the workplace every year. (Anfuso, D. (1994). "Deflecting Workplace Violence." Personnel Journal, 73, 10:66.)

Note: OVC makes no representation concerning the accuracy of data from non-Department of Justice sources.

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