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Hispanic Victims of Violent Crime, 1993-2000/Víctimas Hispanas de Crímenes Violentos, 1993-2000

APRIL 7, 2001 202/307-0784


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Between 1993 and 2000, Hispanic residents aged 12 or older experienced a 56 percent decrease in the number of violent victimizations per capita, from 62.8 violent crimes per 1,000 to 27.9 per 1,000, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. During the same years, the violent criminal victimization rate for all U.S. residents aged 12 or older dropped 51 percent, from 55 per 1,000 to 27, BJS said in a special report on victims with an Hispanic origin.

Hispanics experienced 11 percent of all violent crimes committed against U.S. residents during 2000, about the same per capita rate of victimization as experienced by white residents and about 18 percent lower than black residents. Hispanics 12 years old and older were the victims of an estimated 690,470 rapes, sexual assaults, robberies and simple and aggravated assaults that year.

About six in 10 violent victimizations affecting Hispanic victims in 2000 were simple assaults, about the same percentage as described by white and black victims of violence. Hispanic victims accounted for approximately 10 percent of all victims of simple assault, 11 percent of the victims of aggravated assault, 19 percent of robbery victims and about 6 percent of the victims of rape and sexual assault.

The decreases in violent victimization among Hispanic residents during the years 1993 through 2000 occurred in all segments of the Hispanic community, irrespective of age, gender or residential location. The largest such decreases were among Hispanic women, Hispanics from 35 years to 49 years old, divorced or separated Hispanics, those who had annual household incomes between $15,000 and $24,999 and those who lived in rural areas. During the same period, violent crime rates fell 51 percent against blacks and 50 percent against whites.

About 9 percent of all Hispanic victims said the offender was an intimate, 4 percent said the offender was a non-intimate relative and 34 percent described the offender as a friend or an acquaintance. Fifty-two percent of Hispanic victims said the offender was a stranger, compared to 64 percent of Asians and 46 percent of whites.

Rates of nonfatal violent crimes per 1,000 U.S. residents 12 years old and older during 2000 were as follows:

  Hispanic White Black American
Total violent crime 27.9 26.5 34.1 52.3 8.4
Rape/sexual assault 0.6 1.1 1.5 7.7 0.2
Robbery 5.7 2.4 6.5 2.6 1.9
Aggravated assault 5.3 5.3 6.0 16.3 0.9
Simple assault 16.4 17.7 20.1 25.7 5.4

About 15 percent of Hispanic victims of violence reported the offender had been armed with a firearm at the time of the offense; about 17 percent of black victims and 7 percent of white violence victims reported that there was a firearm present.

The report said that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during 1999, the most recent year for which the data are available, there were 2,864 Hispanic murder victims, a rate of 9.1 homicides per 100,000 Hispanics, compared to a national homicide rate of 6.2 per 100,000 U.S. residents.

The data were gathered in the National Crime Victimization Survey, an ongoing sample survey of approximately 50,000 U.S. households to determine the incidence, prevalence and consequences of criminal victimization.

The BJS special report, "Hispanic Victims of Violent Crime, 1993-2000" (NCJ-191208) was written by BJS statistician Callie Marie Rennison. Single copies of the report in English or in Spanish may be obtained by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800/732-3277. After the release date it will also be available at:


The BJS Internet site is:


Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained from the Office of Justice Programs homepage at:


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After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354
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Date Published: March 13, 2002