Violent Crimes by Strangers on the Decline

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rapes and assaults have become crimes perpetrated more often by those we know, as opposed to strangers.


A new report from the U.S. Department of Justice says only 38% of all nonfatal violent crimes in 2010 were committed by strangers, accounting for about 1.8 million cases. This total represents a remarkable 77% decline from 1993, when strangers were responsible for 7.9 million nonfatal violent crimes.


Nonfatal violent crimes include rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault. The percentage of robberies committed by strangers dropped from 64% in 1994-1998 to 52% in 2005-2010.


Simple assaults (those not involving an injury or a weapon) constituted 60% of violent victimizations committed by strangers two years ago. Aggravated assault made up another 20%, robbery 17%, and rape or sexual assault just 2%.


The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that about 45% of violent crimes by strangers are not reported to the police.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky


To Learn More:

Violence Committed By Strangers Declined 77 Percent Since 1993 (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

Violent Victimization Committed by Strangers, 1993-2010 (by Erika Harrell, Bureau of Justice Statistics) (pdf)

More than 3 Million Violent Crimes in U.S. go Unreported Every Year (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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