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Juveniles as Victims
Violent Crime Victimization
Q: What are the characteristics of violent crimes against juveniles?
A: Youth victims of nonfatal violence were likely to know their offender.

Characteristics of violent crimes against juveniles, by victim age, 2019

Age 12 to 14 Age 15 to 17
Victim-offender relationship
Well-known/casual acquaintances 64.3% 34.2%
Stranger 20.8% 20.0%
Other relatives *2.0% 27.2%
Intimates *0.7% *11.5%
Do not know *9.9% *2.0%
Location of incident
School 74.5% 37.9%
Commerical place, parking lot, or other public area 8.9% 12.6%
At or near victim's home 12.0% 32.5%
At or near friend, neighbor, or relative's home *2.2% *14.4%
Other location *2.4% *2.6%
Injury & medical treatment 78.7% 58.1%
Weapon type
No weapon 91.8% 82.6%
Firearm *1.3% *5.4%
Knife *2.0% *5.3%
Other type of weapon 0.0% *3.9%
Weapon type unknown *0.6% *0.2%
Do not know if offender had weapon 4.2% 2.6%
Reported to police
Yes 23.7% 24.2%
No 73.4% 74.2%
Do not know *2.9% *1.6%

Note: Nonfatal violent crimes include rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.

* Interpret data with caution, estimate is based on 10 or fewer sample cases or the coefficient of variation is greater than 50%.

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  • In 2019, more than 60% of youth victims of nonfatal violence involved someone known to the victim (family members, intimates, and acquaintances), while about 1 in 5 involved a stranger.
  • Youth ages 12 to 147 were more likely to be victimized at school than youth ages 15 to 17 (74.5% vs. 37.9%).
  • Older youth (ages 15 to 17) were more likely to report injury as a result of a violent crime than youth ages 12 to 14.
  • The majority of nonfatal victimizations against youth did not involve a weapon.
  • Regardless of age, less than 1 in 4 youth reported their victimization experience to the police.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02502.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on August 30, 2021.

Data Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Victimization Analysis Tool (NVAT). Online. Available from the BJS website.


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