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Crime and Victimization

Criminal victimization estimates in 2001 are the lowest since 1973. There were an estimated 24.2 million criminal victimizations in 2001: down from 25.9 million in 2000 and down from 44 million in 1973. (Bureau of Justice Statistics [BJS]. September 2002. Criminal Victimization 2001: Changes 2001-01 with Trends 1993-2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

In 2001, there were an estimated 18.3 million property crimes including burglary, motor vehicle theft, and theft, down six percent from the estimated rates in 2000. There were an estimated 5.7 million violent crimes including rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault, down 10 percent from 2000. (Ibid.)

There were an estimated 248,000 rapes, attempted rapes and sexual assaults in 2001. (Ibid.)

Youths between the ages of 12 and 19 experience the highest rate of violent victimization in the United States at a rate of 55 per 1000 persons in the population. (Ibid.)

Blacks experienced more violent assaults in 2001 than whites or persons of other races. Rates of rape and sexual assault, however, had similar incidence rates among blacks, whites and persons of other races in 2001. (Ibid.)

Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics were victims of violence at higher rates. Hispanics were robbery victims in 2001 at significantly higher rates: 5.3 per 1000 persons compared to 2.4 per 1000 for non-Hispanics. (Ibid.)

Fifty percent of the violent victimizations recorded by the National Crime Victimization Survey were reported to the police in 2001, and 37 percent of the property crimes were reported to the police. (Ibid.)

In 2001, crimes against female victims were more likely to be reported to the police than crimes against male victims. Crimes against black female victims were most likely to be reported to the police 58 percent) while crimes against white female victims were reported to the police 53 percent of the time. Crimes against female victims of other races were reported to the police 40 percent of the time. (Ibid.)

Females were victimized by an intimate or an acquaintance 57 percent of the time in 2001, while males were victimized by strangers 55 percent of the time. (Ibid.)

Crime victimization rates indicate that the never married, the divorced, and the separated experienced violent crime in 2001 four times as often as married and widowed people. (Ibid.)

There were 15,980 murders reported in 2001, reflecting a 2.5 increase over 2000. This figure does not include the terrorist attacks of September 11th. (Federal Bureau of Investigations [FBI]. 2002. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Firearms were used in 63.4 percent of the homicides committed in 2001. Knives were used in 13.1 percent of the homicides, other weapons in 16.8 percent of the homicides, and hands and feet were used in 6.7 percent of the homicides. (Ibid.)

Seventy law enforcement officers were murdered in the line of duty in 2001, 19 more than 2000. An additional 78 officers were accidentally killed in the performance of their duty in 2001. These figures do not include law enforcement officers killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. (Ibid.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Fulfill the Promise April 6–12, 2003
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