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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 estimated 13,320 juveniles murdered between 2010 and 2019, 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, 2010-2019

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 60% 80% 56% 51% 44% 56% 69%
  Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
  Family 29% 55% 37% 17% 4% 24% 40%
  Acquaintance 24% 23% 12% 21% 28% 24% 23%
  Stranger 7% 2% 6% 12% 12% 8% 5%
Offender unknown 40% 20% 44% 49% 56% 44% 31%

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

[ CSV file ]

  • Of juvenile murder victims ages 05, more than half (55%) were killed by a family member, compared to 4% of victims ages 1517.
  • Conversely, 12% of juvenile murder victims ages 1517 were killed by a stranger, compared to 2% of victims ages 05.
  • Female victims were far more likely than male victims to have been killed by a family member.
  • Between 2010 and 2019, strangers were involved in at least 7% of the murders of juveniles. This figure is likely to be greater than 7% because strangers account for a disproportionate share of crimes in which the offender is unknown.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02302.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on November 16, 2020.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C., Chamberlin, G. and Kang, W. (2020). Easy Access to the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports. Available on-line at: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/.

Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Supplementary Homicide Reports for the years 19802019 [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C.: FBI.

 

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