U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Violent Crime by Strangers and Nonstrangers

NCJ Number
A D Timrots; M R Rand
Date Published
7 pages
National Crime Survey data for 1982-1984 indicate that 46 percent of violent crimes (rape, robbery, and assault) were committed by total strangers, 11 percent were committed by those known to the victim by sight only, 13 percent were committed by friends and acquaintances, and 8 percent were committed by relatives.

Among violent crimes, robbery was most likely and homicide was least likely to be committed by a stranger. Most violent crimes by strangers (70 percent) were committed against males, while most by relatives (77 percent) were committed against females. Spouses or ex-spouses committed over half of all crimes by relatives and about two-thirds of all crimes by relatives against women. Crimes by strangers were more often committed by two or more offenders than were crimes by nonstrangers. Stranger-to-stranger crimes more often involved a weapon but less often resulted in attack or injury than did crimes by a nonstranger. Crimes by relatives involved attack and injury more often than did stranger or acquaintance crimes. However, of those injured, victims of stranger and acquaintance crimes were more likely to require medical attention than victims of crimes by relatives. 11 tables.