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Who Experiences Violent Victimization and Who Accesses Services? Findings From the National Crime Victimization Survey for Expanding Our Reach

NCJ Number
Heather Warnken; Janet L. Lauritsen
Date Published
April 2019
25 pages

This research was conducted to identify groups of persons at high risk for serious violent victimization, so as to assist in targeting services for the victims with the greatest need.


Analysis was conducted on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which is the nation's primary source of data on criminal victimization. The focus was on disparities in risk and the use of victim services, with attention to group characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, and income status, as well as other factors that assist in identifying who is most likely to experience serious, nonlethal violent victimization. Characteristics of those who currently access victim services were also identified. Overall, the patterns identified in this study support the view that the majority of crime survivors do not access the services available for them. Also, the need for victim services is greatest in the poorest communities. Females were more likely than males to be victims of rape and sexual assault, as well as to be victimized by intimate partners. Although services tailored for these crime types are essential and have their own persistent gaps that must be addressed, services are significantly less for a wide range of victimization types, such as non-fatal shootings and other forms of community violence. Of particular concern are services that target the needs of minority male youth. Filling these gaps in services for victims of violence require filling gaps in knowledge. This is being addressed by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics' groundbreaking Victim Services Statistical Research Program . This effort includes the first National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP), which will be launched in April 2019. 7 tables, 5 figures, 5 references, and an appended detailed methodology and NSVSP description