Victims and Offenders Were of the Same Race in Half of Violent Crimes

A report released last week by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that half (51 percent) of violent victimizations from 2012 to 2015 were interracial, meaning victims and offenders were the same race or were both of Hispanic origin. Violent victimization includes rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault. During the 4-year aggregated period from 2012 to 2015, U.S. residents experienced 5.8 million violent victimizations each year.

While half of the victimizations were intraracial, 41 percent of violent victimizations during the period involved victims and offenders of different races or Hispanic origin (interracial). Among black victims, 63 percent of violent victimizations were committed by black offenders, 11 percent by white offenders and 7 percent by Hispanic offenders. Among white victims, 57 percent of victimizations were committed by white offenders, 15 percent by black offenders and 11 percent by Hispanic offenders. Among Hispanic victims, 40 percent of violent victimizations were committed by Hispanic offenders, 20 percent by white offenders and 20 percent by black offenders. The race of the offender or the number of offenders was unknown in 8 percent of the violent crimes.

During 2012-15, the rate of white-on-white violent crime (12.0 per 1,000) was about four times higher than black-on-white violent crime (3.1 per 1,000). The rate of black-on-black crime (16.5 per 1,000) was more than five times higher than white-on-black violent crime (2.8 per 1,000). The rate of Hispanic-on-Hispanic crime (8.3 per 1,000) was about double the rate of white-on-Hispanic (4.1 per 1,000) and black-on-Hispanic (4.2 per 1,000) violent crime.

Findings are from BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects data from victims on their experiences with crime. Offender demographic characteristics are based on the victim’s perceptions. From 1994 to 2015, white-on-white violence and black-on-black violence declined at a similar rate. White-on-white violence declined 79 percent (from 52.5 to 10.8 victimizations per 1,000 white persons). Black-on-black violence declined 78 percent (from 66.6 to 14.5 victimizations per 1,000 black persons). Information on Hispanic origin of offenders was not collected prior to 2012. 

The report, Race and Hispanic Origin of Victims and Offenders, 2012-15 (NCJ 250747), was written by BJS statistician Rachel E. Morgan. The report, related documents and additional information about BJS’s statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at www.bjs.gov/.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

 
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