3. Data on Victim-Offender Relationships
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Incident-Based Reporting System, 2011, data from 15 complete reporting states
The victim services field has traditionally relied on both the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to estimate the extent of family violence in the United States. NIBRS data goes further than the UCR in complementing NCVS data because it reports both simple and aggravated assaults, the age of the victims, and the victim-offender relationship. This will give communities a more complete and comprehensive picture of family violence (e.g., simple/aggravated assault by non-intimate family member or intimate partner).
The proportion of aggravated assaults of females1 that involve strangers versus a known offender is comparatively low (less than 15 percent), regardless of the age of the victim. More than half of the aggravated assaults on young females under age 10 are committed by non-intimate family members. No other age group experiences a higher proportion of aggravated assaults at the hands of family members. The proportion of aggravated assaults that are committed by family members declines after age 12, with friends and acquaintances committing the majority of aggravated assaults against females until age 20.
At age 20, a noticeable shift occurs in the types of aggravated assaults women experience. From age 20 until age 56, the most common type of aggravated assault female victims experience is assault by an intimate partner. Female victims in this age group experience relatively fewer aggravated assaults at the hands of strangers and non-intimate family members.
Using this information, service providers can intervene early in family violence cases that involve child victims (most likely physical abuse). Many times in intimate partner relationships, simple assault can lead to aggravated assault. Law enforcement and service providers can use this data to implement policies and strategies to prevent aggravated assaults before they occur.
1In the 15 fully reporting NIBRS states.