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Seasonal Patterns in Criminal Victimization Trends

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2014
22 pages
Janet Lauritsen, Ph.D.; Nicole White, Ph.D.
Publication Series
This study examined seasonal patterns in violent and household property victimization in the United States from 1993 to 2010.
Seasonal patterns were found in household larceny and burglary victimization rates, with these crimes tending to be higher in the summer months than other seasons. The differences between the highest and lowest seasonal rates were just under 11 percent. Although rates of motor vehicle theft tended to be lower in the spring than the summer, there were few regular differences between summer, fall, and winter rates. When seasonal variations were found for violent victimization, the differences between the rates of the highest and lowest season were less than 12 percent. Aggravated assault rates were higher during the summer than during the winter, spring, and fall. Simple assault rates were higher during the fall than during other seasons. Robbery rates did not show any seasonal variations. Rape and sexual assault victimization rates tended to be higher during the summer than during the fall and winter. Rates of intimate partner violence were higher during the summer than during the winter, spring, and fall. Data for this report were developed from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS') National Crime Victimization Survey, which annually collects information on non-fatal victimizations against persons age 12 or older, using a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. Asking the victim in which month the incident occurred makes it possible to assess how the risk for victimization varied throughout the years. Winter rates were based on victimizations that occurred in December, January, and February; spring rates occurred in March, April, and May; summer rates occurred in June, July, and August; and fall rates occurred in September, October, and November. 14 figures and 7 tables

Date Created: June 17, 2014