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While violent crime in general was down in 2003, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, there was a 1.7 percent increase in homicides from 2002. (Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2004. Crime in the United States, 2003. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)

The greatest percentage increase in the number of homicides occurred in Northeastern United States where it was up 4.6 percent, and the only decrease occurred in Midwestern United States where it was down 2.7 percent. (Ibid.)

According to FBI data, 77 percent of people murdered in 2002 were male. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2004. Criminal Victimization, 2003. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)

When the murder victim's race was known, about half (49 percent) were white, about half (49 percent) were black, and about three percent were of another race. Homicide is generally intraracial. (Ibid.)

When information on the relationship between the victim and the offender was available, 76 percent of the offenders were known to the victim and 24 percent were strangers. (Ibid.)

Firearms were used in 71 percent of the murders in 2001, the most recent year in which information on weapon use is available. (Ibid.)

Offenders were most often male (90 percent) and adults (92 percent). (Ibid.)

Seventeen percent of homicide incidents occurred in connection with another felony (e.g., rape, robbery, arson). (Ibid.)

Fifty-six law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2002 in the United states; 48 of the slain officers were male and eight were female. (Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2004. Uniform Crime Reports: Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed, 2002. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Data from a 2003 survey of youth risk behavior indicate that between the years 1991 and 2003, 15.1 percent of the deaths among youth age 10 to 24 years were homicides. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2004. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance: United States, 2003. Surveillance Summaries. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

The number of juvenile offenders who committed murder with a firearm tripled between 1981 and 1994, while the number of juveniles who committed murder by other means remained constant. (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 2004. Juvenile Suicides, 1981 – 1998. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that in 2003, 18 homicides were incidents of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender violence. (Patton, C. 2004. Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Violence in 2003. New York, NY: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.)

Among youth in the United States between the ages of five and 19, there were 16 school-associated homicides in the years 1999-2000, and 2,124 homicides away from school during the same period. (U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. 2003. Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2003. Washington, D.C.)

Between 1993 and 2001, there were 160,396 murders and non-negligent manslaughters of persons age 12 or over reported to the FBI (this number excludes the terrorist crimes of September 11, 2001). A weapon was used in 91 percent of these crimes. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2003. Weapons Use and Violent Crime, 1993- 2001. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice.)

From 1993 through 2001, blacks accounted for 49 percent of homicide victims, 54 percent of victims of firearm homicide, but 12 percent of the U.S. population. Blacks are nine times more likely to be victims of gun-related homicides than whites. (Ibid.)

From 1994 through 1999, about seven in 10 murders at school involved some type of firearm, and approximately one in two murders at school involved a handgun. (Ibid.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Justice Isn't Served Until Crime Victims Are April 10–16, 2005
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