Back to Table of Contents



(Statistical Information)

Crime & Victimization

There was one violent crime every 17 seconds in 1994. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1995. "Crime in the United States, 1993," U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

There were an estimated 43,547,400 criminal victimizations in the United States in 1993, including 10,848,090 crimes of violence, and 32,182,320 property crimes. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1995, "Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, page 230, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

Slightly over one third (35.1 percent) of all crimes were reported to police in 1993, with 41.6 percent of crimes of violence reported to police. (Ibid., page 245)

During 1994, law enforcement agencies made an estimated 14.6 million arrests for all criminal infractions other than traffic violations. The arrest rate was 5,715 arrests per 100,000 population in the United States. Of all persons arrested in 1994, 45 percent were under the age of 25; 80 percent were male; and 67 percent were white. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1995, "Crime in the United States, 1994," U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

One-third of violent crimes (32 percent) involves a weapon, including 92 percent of aggravated assaults, 55 percent of robberies, and 20 percent of rapes. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1993, "Highlights from 20 Years of Surveying Crime Victims," page 15, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

From 1973 to 1991, 36.6 million people were injured as a result of violent crime. Annually, about two million people are injured as a result of violent crime. (Ibid., page 15)

Victims take some type of measure to protect themselves in nearly 71 percent of all violent victimizations; 82 percent of rapes; 58 percent of robberies; and 73 percent of assaults. (Ibid., page 30)

More than 5.1 million Americans -- or almost 2.7 percent of the adult population -- were under some form of correctional supervision in 1994. Almost three-quarters of these men and women were being supervised in the community on probation or parole. The others were confined in jail or prison. (Gilliard, Darrell and Allen Beck, 1995, "The Nation's Correctional Population Tops Five Million," Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

Child Abuse and Neglect

In 1994, an estimated 1,271 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. (Wiese, David and Deborah Daro, 1995, "Current Trends in Child Abuse Reporting and Fatalities: The Results of the 1994 Annual Fifty State Survey," National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, Chicago, IL)

It is estimated that over three children died each day in 1994 as a result of maltreatment. (American Humane Association, Children's Division)

Approximately 3,140,000 cases of child maltreatment were reported to child protective services in 1994. (Ibid.)

The rates of assault, rape and robbery against those age 12 to 19 are two to three times higher than for the adult population as a whole. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1991, "National Crime Victimization Survey," U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

Half of the women who reported they had been raped during 1992 were juveniles under 18 years old, and 16 percent were younger than 12, according to a U.S. Department of Justice study of 11 states and Washington, D.C. (Langan, Ph.D., Patrick and Caroline Wolf Harlow, Ph.D., 1994, "Child Rape Victims, 1992,", Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

Most child victims under 12 (94 percent), as reported by imprisoned rapists, were family members (70 percent) or an acquaintance or friend (24 percent); only six percent were strangers. For child rape victims ages 12 to 17, 36 percent were family members of the rapist, 45 percent were an acquaintance or friend, and 19 percent were strangers (Ibid., p.2)

Being abused or neglected as a child increases the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 53 percent, as an adult by 38 percent, and for violent crime by 38 percent. (Widom, C.S., 1992, "The Cycle of Violence," National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

In breaking down all cases by type of abuse, the percentages for 1994 were as follows:

Of Those Of Those

Reported Substantiated

Physical Abuse 26% 21%

Sexual Abuse 11% 11%

Neglect 45% 49%

Emotional Abuse 3% 3%

Other 15% 16%

(American Humane Association, Children's Division)

Domestic Violence

It is estimated that every 15 seconds a woman is battered. (Derived from Strauss, M.R. Gelles and S.K. Steinmetz, 1980, "Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family," Garden City, NY: Anchor Press)

Twenty-two to 35 percent of women who visit emergency departments in the United States are there for symptoms related to ongoing abuse. (Randall, T., 1992, "Domestic Violence Intervention Calls for More than Treating Injuries," Journal of the American Medical Association 264[8]: p. 939)

In the United States, nine out of ten women murdered are killed by men, half at the hands of a male partner. (Crime in the United States: Uniform Crime Reports 1986,: 1987, Washington, D.C.: Federal Bureau of Investigation)

In 1991, 28 percent of all female murder victims were slain by their husbands or partners. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1993, "Crime in the United States, 1991," Washington, D.C.)

Results from The National Women's Study indicate that 3.7 percent of women who have ever been married have suffered an aggravated assault at the hands of a husband or ex-husband. These results mean that over 3.5 million American women are survivors of wife battering. (Kilpatrick, D., et. al., 1992, The National Women's Study, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Charleston, SC)

Every year, domestic violence results in almost 100,000 days of hospitalizations, almost 30,000 emergency department visits, and almost 40,000 visits to a physician. (American Medical Association, 1991, "Five Issues in American Health," Chicago, IL).

In a prospective study of 691 White, Hispanic, and African-American pregnant women sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control, one in six reported physical abuse during their present pregnancy. One in four reported physical abuse in the last calendar year. (McFarlane, Judith, et. al., 1991, "Assessing for Abuse During Pregnancy: Severity and Frequency of Injuries and Associated Entry into Prenatal Care," Journal of the American Medical Association 267[23]: pp. 3176-3178.)

Thirty-four percent of Americans say they have witnessed an incident of domestic violence, compared with only 19 percent who report witnessing a robbery or mugging. (Family Violence Prevention Fund and EDK Associates, 1993, "National Survey on Domestic Violence," San Francisco, CA)

Rape and Sexual Assault

Women annually reported about 500,000 rapes and sexual assaults (for 1992 and 1993), with friends or acquaintances committing over half of these crimes, and strangers responsible for about one in five rapes and sexual assaults. (Ronet Bachman, Ph.D. and Linda E. Saltzman, Ph.D., 1995, "Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey," National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

Women were about six times more likely than men to experience violence committed by an intimate. (Ibid.)

Every single minute in America, there are 1.3 forcible rapes of adult women; 78 women are forcibly raped each hour. Every day in America, 1,871 women are forcibly raped, equating to 56,916 forcible rapes every month. Every year in our country, 683,000 American women are forcibly raped. (Kilpatrick, D., C. Edmunds, A. Seymour, April 1992, "Rape in America: A Report to the Nation" from The National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Victim Center and National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, Washington, D.C.)

Thirteen percent of adult American women (or at least 12.1 million) have been victims of at least one forcible rape in their lifetime. (Ibid.)

Only 16 percent of rapes are ever reported to police. Most cases were reported within 24 hours after the rape. However, a substantial minority (25 percent) was reported more than 24 hours after the rape. (Ibid.)

Rape has a devastating impact on the mental health of victims, with nearly one-third of all rape victims (31 percent) developing Rape-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (RR-PTSD) in their lifetimes. (Ibid.)

Rape-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (RR-PTSD) dramatically increases American women's risk for major alcohol and other drug abuse problems. Compared to women who have never been raped, rape victims with RR-PTSD were 13 times more likely to have two or more major alcohol problems (20.1 percent vs. 1.5 percent), and 26 times more likely to have two or more major drug abuse problems (7.8 percent vs. 0.3 percent). (Ibid.)

As of the end of 1994, 40 states provide for the registration of sex offenders. Most states impose the registration requirement of an offender at the time he or she is released on parole or probation, and the requirement usually continues for the duration of the parole or probation period, or for an average of 10 years. (National Victim Center, 1995, "Community Notification of the Release of Sex Offenders," page 1, Arlington, VA)

Elder Abuse and Neglect

The following statistics are derived from the findings of a national study of domestic elder abuse reports conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse in 1994. Data on elder abuse reports were collected from state adult protective service and state units on aging across the nation for the years of 1993 and 1994. It is important to note that some experts estimate that only one out of 14 domestic elder abuse incidents (excluding the incidents of self neglect) comes to the attention of authorities.

In 1986, there were about 117,000 reports of domestic elder abuse in the nation. This figure rose to 241,000 reports in 1994, representing an increase of 106 percent.

It is estimated that approximately 818,000 elders became victims of various types of elder abuse in 1994. This figure, however, excludes self-neglecting elders. If self-neglecting elders are added, the total number of elder abuse victims would be 1.84 million individuals in the same year.

Neglect is the most common form of elder maltreatment in domestic settings. Of the substantiated reports of elder abuse for which perpetrators were identified in 1994, 58.5 percent involved neglect. Physical abuse accounted for 15.7 percent in the same year, while financial/material exploitation was 12.3 percent of the substantiated reports.

Adult children are the most frequent abusers of the elderly in domestic settings. It was found that 35 percent of the substantiated elder abuse cases in 1994 involved adult children as abusers. "Other relatives" ranked as the second most frequent abusers (13.6 percent) and spouses with 13.4 percent.

The median age of elder abuse victims was 76.4 years, according to 1994 data that excluded self-neglecting elders.

The majority of domestic elder abuse reports were substantiated after investigations. For example, 54.9 percent of reports were substantiated in 1994. Additionally, 54.9 percent of these substantiated reports were self-neglect cases.

In 1994, 65.4 percent of the victims of domestic elder abuse were white, 21.4 percent were black, and Hispanic elders accounted for 9.6 percent of the domestic elder abuse victims.

Violent Death

The murder count for 1994 totaled 23,305, the lowest rate since 1989. The murder rate in the United States was nine per 100,000 inhabitants. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1995, "Crime in the United States, 1994," U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

By circumstances, 28 percent of murders in 1994 resulted from arguments, and 18 percent from felonious activities such as robbery, arson, etc. (Ibid.)

Firearms were the weapons used in approximately seven out of every ten murders reported in 1994. (Ibid.)

A 1987 study found that an estimated 6.7 million adult Americans had lost an immediate family member, other relative or close friend to criminal homicide. Of this number, 2.8 million had lost an immediate family member to homicide. (Amick-McMullen, A. Kilpatrick, D.G. & Resnick, H.S., 1991, "Homicide as a Risk Factor for PTSD Among Surviving Family Members," Behavioral Modification 15 (4), 545-559.)

During the period from 1982 through 1994, approximately 283,000 persons lost their lives in alcohol-related traffic crashes. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1995, Fatal Accident Reporting System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C.)

In 1994, an estimated 16,589 persons died in alcohol-related traffic crashes -- an average of one every 32 minutes. These deaths constituted 40.8 percent of the 40,676 total traffic fatalities. (Ibid.)

The 16,589 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 1994 represent a 30 percent reduction from the 23,758 alcohol-related fatalities reported in 1984. (Ibid.)

Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for every age from six through 28. Almost half of these crashes are alcohol-related. (Ibid.)

About two in every five Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives. (Ibid.)

Youth arrests (under age 18) increased significantly from 1984 to 1983 for drunkenness (42.9 percent), driving under the influence (50.2 percent), and drug abuse (27.8 percent). (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1994, "Crime in the United States -- 1993," U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

Training Agenda for Military Chaplains


Crime Victimization*

Day One

0830-0900 Gathering and Registration

0900-0930 Overview of Training Content

0930-1030 Child Abuse and Neglect

Extent, nature, dynamics, & suggested

response including scriptural issues

1030-1045 Break

1045-1200 Child Abuse & Neglect (continued)

1200-1300 Lunch

1300-1500 Domestic Violence (Spousal/Partner Abuse)

Dynamics and specific responses by chaplains

including scriptural issues

1500-1515 Break

1515-1630 Domestic Violence (continued)

1630- Adjourn for the Day

* The agenda for the training event hosted by the Army chaplains in St. Louis, September 12 & 13, 1996, has been abbreviated. A separate schedule will be provided to participants at the event.

Day Two

0830-0900 Gathering & Overview of the Day

0900-1030 Rape

Definition and factors including date rape and marital rape

Helpful assistance

1030-1045 Break

1045-1130 Rape (continued)

1130-1200 Abuse of Elderly

Although a form of victimization infrequently, if ever, presented to military chaplains, the Advisory Committee

advised brief consideration for benefit of service persons

re. parents & grandparents

1200-1300 Lunch

1300-1345 Abuse of Elderly (continued)

1345-1430 Robbery & Burglary

The importance of the chaplains understanding victim's

trauma both for the assistance of the victim and the

awareness of the offender

1430-1445 Break

1445-1600 Violent Death: Drunk Driving & Homicide

Correlation of trauma and reaction as well as

appropriate pastoral response to victim

1600-1630 Review of Chaplain Specific Issues

Responding to specific needs of service personnel

Day One

0830 - 0900 Gathering and Registration

0900 - 0930 Overview of Training


TRAINING MANUAL: A Manual for Clergy & Congregations (Special Edition for Military Chaplains)
Opening Meditation 3 minutes Preface to manual p. 4 Have one chaplain

read & present

To show the need for training for military chaplains

More go to clergy with problems than to any other helping professional

7 minutes Manual pp. 22, 23

Overhead projector & screen

Transparency using p. T1

Make transparency

Show transparency Review manual pages

Have members discuss unique role of chaplains in view of this

To consider the impor-tance of the spiritual aspect of care for victims of crime 10 minutes Manual pp. 6, 7, 24, 25 Allow a few moments for trainees to read material, particularly Importance of the Faith Perspective and Recommendations for Ministry pp. 24, 25

Elicit comment

DoD Directive 10 minutes Manual pp. 8, 9, 11

Supplement DoD

Directive & Instruction

Review manual pages & DoD Directive & Instruction 1030.1 & 1030.2 in supplement

highlighting victim's rights, Component Responsible Officer &

Role of Chaplain

TOTAL TIME 30 minutes

The Importance of the Role of Chaplains

and Other Clergy in Serving Crime Victims

There are two primary reasons why it is important that military chaplains and other clergy understand the needs of crime victims.

In the 1960's, when the mental health services were considering community based mental health centers as an alternative to mental hospitals, a study was made as to which professionals were used by Americans as a primary source of help for personal problems. This study determined the following percentages:

42% Clergy

29% General Physicians

17% Psychiatrists

10% Other mental health professionals

2% Other (1)

A 25 year follow up of this study found that, although reduced a bit by the establishment of community mental health centers, more still sought out clergy first as follows:

34% Clergy

28% Community Mental Health Centers

Lesser percentages in each of all other disciplines. (2)

Masters and Johnson tell us that 70% of all people who contacted their foundation, had at one time or another also contacted a minister about their problems. (3)

James Leehan writes, "Spiritual directors for survivors of abuse must seek to instill in them a faith and trust in themselves and their potential for growth, a trust in their anger as a measure of injustice, and a trust in their own anguish as a call for a new direction in their lives. This trust can enable survivors to fulfill the prerequisite for Jesus' second great commandment. They will learn to love themselves so they can 'love . . . your neighbor as yourself' (Luke 10:27). They will be reconciled to themselves, freed from self hate, and enabled to feel compassion for themselves. Then they can recognize and trust a caring God. This trust can heal. It can cast out fear. . ."

"When trust and self-respect are achieved, survivors can achieve the inner quiet necessary to convert the loneliness and isolation, which dominated their lives as victims, into solitude and inner peace. They can hear the questions of their lives through the din of their anxieties. They can let go of the negative images imposed on them by abusers and acknowledge the pain of their lives, so they can be liberated from it rather than controlled by it . . ." (4)

(1) Clebsch, W.A., Jaeckle, C.R., Pastoral Care in Historical Perspective, New York: Jason Aronson, 1983.

(2) Veroff, J., Kulka, R.A. Douvan, E., Mental Health in America, New York: Basic Books, 1981.

(3) Childs, Brian, Short Term Pastoral Counseling, Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1990: 19.

(4) Leehan, James, Pastoral Care for Survivors of Family Abuse, Louisville, KT: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989: 102.

The Importance of the Faith Perspective

Acts of crime and violence punctuate, with ominous frequency, the daily activities of our American life. Victims of these crimes live in the houses, condominiums and apartments of our communities, and on the farms and ranches of our country sides. They attend our schools, work in our offices, are stationed on our military installations, work in our factories and stores, walk our streets, play in our parks, shop in our markets, eat in our restaurants, attend our churches, temples, synagogues and mosques. They lie in our hospitals and in our cemeteries.

Many in our society have responded to the needs of these victims. The government compensates for economic loss and even physical and mental treatment; the state often, but not always, punishes the offender; doctors seek to heal both the physical and the psychological wounds. But any chaplain, pastor, priest, imam or rabbi, knows that there is, beyond this, yet another realm in need of great attention, the realm of the spirit. First, however, a look at the:

Psychological Toll

The following is an excerpt from Crime Victims, Learning How to Help Them, by Robert C. Davis, published by the National Institute of Justice, Research in Action, May/June 1987.

"Only recently have people come to realize that victims of crime experience crisis reactions similar to those experienced by victims of war, natural disasters and catastrophic illness.

"In 1975 researchers at Marquette University (1) interviewed 3,000 victims and witnesses from cases active in Milwaukee County's court system and 1,600 persons identified as victims of serious personal crimes by a previous National Crime Survey.

"They found mental or emotional suffering to be the most frequent problem expressed by victims in general, while time and income loss posed the greatest difficulties for victims involved in the court process. The fear and emotional distress experienced by victims often extended as well to the victims' families and friends.

"The Milwaukee study introduced the term 'secondary victimization' to characterize the distress experienced by the family and friends of crime victims. In 1982, a research team from the New York Victim Services Agency, (2) pursuing this theme, questioned 240 New York City victims or robbery, nonsexual assault, and burglary. They asked about problems and needs stemming from the crime and about organizations and individuals to whom victims turned for assistance.

"While few victims had sought assistance from organizations, virtually all had received help from friends, neighbors, or relatives. The help ranged from listening while victims 'ventilated,' to aiding in apprehending the criminal, to lending money, to helping with replacement doors, windows and locks."

The Spiritual Toll

The following statement excerpted from the Report of the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, 1982, speaks of the spiritual toll.

"The lasting scars of spirit and faith are not so easily treated. Many victims question the faith they thought secure, or have no faith on which to rely. Frequently, ministers and their congregations can be a source of solace that no other sector of society can provide."

The Unique Spiritual Role

Each year more abuse victims, perpetrators, and family members seek help from clergy and religious leaders than from all the helping professions combined. (3) It has long been known by members of the faith community that psychological and even physical health can result from spiritual wholeness. However, as implied above, physical and psychological healing does not, necessarily, result in spiritual health. For this reason, appropriate ministry by the religious community to the needs of victims is of paramount importance.

All religions accept the premise that loving attention to an individual's physical and material needs can be at least an initial avenue towards psychological and spiritual health. There can be great assistance in bringing the love and comfort of the God whom the victim may even be questioning. In many cases, the victim who is a believer begins to doubt God, while at the same time feeling guilty because of that doubt. The community of faith is called to be God's loving presence during such a crisis.

Following each section of this manual, suggestions are made for positive clergy and congregational response. These will provide insights from some who have, exercising their faith, ministered to victims.

(1) NIJ, R. Knudten and Associates, 1975

(2) NIJ, R.C. Davis, 1982

(3) Horton, Anne L. & Williamson, Judith A., Abuse and Religion, Lexington, MA/

Lexington Books, 1988: Preface

Archive iconThe information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.