Victims reported a 25% drop in violent crimes by juveniles in 1995 -- violence by adults was down 18%


Violence in the U.S. is monitored by victim reports

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks a nationally representative sample of persons ages 12 and older about violent crimes in which they were the victim. Since 1973 the NCVS has been a national barometer of crime trends. In 1995 NCVS reported that 3.3 million violent crimes (rape/sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) occurred in the U.S., while the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) estimated 1.8 million such crimes were reported to law enforcement. Compared with the UCR, NCVS provides a more complete picture of violence in the U.S., even though it excludes murder and violence against children younger than age 12.

NCVS finds that violence in the U.S. dropped 20% in 1995

From 1994 to 1995 according to the NCVS, the number of violent victimizations dropped 20%, from 4.1 million to 3.3 million, the largest decline observed over the nearly 25-year history of the NCVS. Over this period the U.S. experienced a 26% decline in violent sexual assaults, a 24% drop in aggravated assaults, and a 12% decline in robberies.


The drop in violence was led by reductions in victimizations by juveniles

Between 1994 and 1995 violent victimizations by juveniles declined more than those by adults (25% vs. 18%). Juvenile declines were greater in robberies (15% vs. 10%) and aggravated assaults (32% vs. 20%). However, while violent sexual assaults by adults declined 30%, juvenile violent sexual assaults increased 17%.

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Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1997 Update on Violence