Workplace Violence and Crime

Each year, between 1992 and 1996, more than 2 million U.S. residents were victims of a violent crime while they were at work or on duty. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. (1998, July). Workplace Violence, 1992-96. From data gathered by the National Crime Victimization Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

More than 1,000 workplace homicides occurred annually between 1992 and 1996. (Ibid.)

The most common type of workplace victimization was simple assault, with an estimated 1.5 million occurring each year. U.S. residents also suffered 51,000 rapes and sexual assaults and about 84,000 robberies while they were at work. (Ibid.)

Annually, more than 230,000 police officers became victims of a nonviolent crime while they were working or on duty. (Ibid.)

Intimates (current and former spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends) were identified by the victims as the perpetrators of about 1 percent of all workplace violent crime. (Ibid.)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that murder is the leading cause of death for women at work, and third leading cause of death for men. (Office for Victims of Crime. (1998). New Directions from the Field: Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

In 1996, 912 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, 742 victims were male, and 170 were female; 66 percent of victims were white, 19 percent black, 14 percent Hispanic, 10 percent Asian Pacific Islander and 5 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. (1998). Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1997, p. 298. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Guns were the primary weapon in 82 percent of workplace homicides that took place in 1996, followed by stabbing and beating. (Ibid.)

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.)

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.)

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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