This study estimated previously unknown long-term trends in violent victimization by gender and various socio-demographic data, using relevant data for the years 1973-2005.
The socio-demographic factors examined included race/ethnicity; age; type of place (urban, suburban, and rural); socioeconomic status; marital status for adults; and family status. Overall, there was substantial variation in the trends identified. Among the 135 trends lines generated, the findings on race and ethnicity offer many potentially fruitful avenues for future research. Data for female and male nonlethal violent victimization rates for Hispanic, Black, and White females and males were relatively stable during the 1970s and 1980s, with some minor increases and decreases. For both females and males, the rates for all three race/ethnicity groups reached a series high between 1992 and 1994, followed by a dramatic decline during the late 1990s, reaching a three-decade low in the early years of the 21st century. Moreover, the figures for both females and males show that combining race data across ethnicity masks potentially important differences. The patterns of victimization for Latino females and males were more similar to those of non-Latino Blacks than to non-Latino Whites, up until the crime peak in the early 1990s. After this, the Latino rates become closer to those for non-Latino Whites, particularly among females. The study also notes another important aspect of gendered victimization, i.e., the difference across women and men in relationships between victims and offenders. Broadly, data for 1980 through 2005 show that for both females and males, stranger violence occurred at higher rates than other forms of violence from 1980 through the early 1990s. This research produced previously unknown trends by pooling and appropriately weighting the only source of data capable of providing reliable national trend estimates, i.e., the National Crime Survey and its successor, the National Crime Victimization Survey. 45 figures and 16 references
Date Published: December 1, 2009