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Victims and Victimization

Date Published
September 19, 2010

Millions of Americans become crime victims every year.

The rights of victims are every bit as important as those of alleged criminals are, and in recent decades government agencies have strengthened services to crime victims. NIJ's research has supported efforts to guarantee the rights of victims in a variety of ways.

For example, NIJ researchers have evaluated victim advocacy programs to learn how effective they are, and how such services can be improved.

Broad studies have revealed certain trends within crime and victimization patterns. Adolescents are most likely to be victimized. Men become crime victims more often than women do, and blacks experience more crime than other racial groups.

NIJ's research on intimate partner (domestic) violence found that certain approaches tend to reduce recurrences of violence. For example, permanent protection orders result in a significant decrease in violence.

Some research has focused on particular groups of crime victims, such as immigrants. That research has shown that immigrants were no less likely to report most crimes than other people are, despite potential obstacles such as language and cultural differences. However, immigrants who experienced domestic violence often did not report it to police.

NIJ studies have documented the enormous economic consequences of crime for society as a whole. Still, the price of crime is highest for individuals, who suffer an array of physical and psychological consequences besides economic losses.

Date Published: September 19, 2010