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Differences Between Two National Surveys

Date Published
June 16, 2016

Sidebar to the article Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men by André B. Rosay

Our understanding of victimization of American Indians and Alaska Natives comes primarily from two sources: the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS, discussed in the main article) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). There are key differences between these two national surveys, which can lead to very different estimates.

Key Differences Between NISVS and NCVS
  National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
Goals Uses a public health approach to (1) measure the prevalence and characteristics of violence, (2) determine who is most likely to experience violence, (3) assess the patterns and impacts of violence experienced by specific individuals who perpetrate violence, and (4) identify the health consequences of violence. Uses a criminal justice approach to (1) develop detailed information about the victims and consequences of crime, (2) estimate the number and types of nonfatal crimes not reported to the police, (3) provide uniform measures of selected types of crimes, and (4) permit comparisons over time and types of areas.
Samples Adult women and men residing in the United States. The 2010 data collection included three samples: a general population sample, an oversample of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and a sample of active-duty military and female spouses of active-duty military. Every household member 12 years of age or older, from nationally representative samples of U.S. households. Follow-up surveys occur every six months over the course of three years (for a total of seven interviews).
Methods Interviews conducted by phone, using randomly selected landline telephone numbers and cell phone numbers. Most initial interviews conducted in person, with follow-up interviews conducted by telephone or in person.
Estimates National and state-level estimates for the prevalence of lifetime and past-year victimizations (the number of victims). National estimates for the prevalence and incidence of past-year victimizations (the number of victims and the number of victimizations).
Types of Victimization Psychological aggression by intimate partners, coercive control by intimate partners, physical violence by intimate partners, stalking and sexual violence. Broad range of nonfatal personal and property crimes, including rape and sexual attack, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, purse snatching/pocket picking, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and vandalism.
Measures Behaviorally specific questions about what other people have done (e.g., "How many people have ever used force or threats of physical harm to make you have vaginal sex?"). Incident-specific questions about experiencing certain crimes (e.g., "Has anyone attacked or threatened you with rape, attempted rape or other type of sexual attack?").

About This Article

This artice appeared in NIJ Journal Issue 277, September 2016, as sidebar to the article Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men by André B. Rosay.

Date Published: June 16, 2016