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Juveniles as Victims
Violent Crime Victimization
Q: How does the victim-offender relationship vary with victim age in homicide cases?
A: Of the 60,200 juveniles murdered between 1980 and 2011, most victims under age 6 were killed by a family member (typically a parent), while family members were rarely involved in the killing of juveniles age 15-17.

Victim-offender relationship in juvenile homicides by age of victim, 1980-2011

Offender relationship to victim
                      Age of victim                      
Victim ages 0-17
0 to 17 0 to 5 6 to 11 12 to 14 15 to 17 Males Females

Offender known 67 % 82 % 60 % 62 % 58 % 65 % 71 %
  Total 100   100   100   100   100   100   100  
  Family 38   68   53   20   7   32   51  
  Acquaintance 46   29   31   58   66   50   40  
  Stranger 15   3   16   21   27   18   9  
Offender unknown 33   18   40   38   42   35   29  

Note: Detail may not total 100% due to rounding.

[ Excel file ]

  • Of juvenile murder victims ages 05, nearly 7 of every 10 (67%) were killed by a family member, compared to 7% of victims ages 1517.
  • Conversely, 27% of juvenile murder victims ages 1517 were killed by a stranger, compared to 3% of victims ages 05.
  • Female victims were far more likely than male victims to have been killed by a family member.
  • Since 1980, strangers were involved in at least 15% of the murders of juveniles. This figure is likely to be greater than 15% because strangers account for a disproportionate share of crimes in which the offender is unknown.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02302.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on August 05, 2013.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. and Kang, W. (2013). Easy Access to the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports: 1980-2011. Available on-line at: http://ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/.

Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Supplementary Homicide Reports for the years 19802011 [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C.: FBI.

 

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