Clearly, when people suffer personal victimizations, they are at risk of physical injury. These injuries can include bruises, soreness, scratches, cuts, broken bones, contracted diseases, and stab or gunshot wounds. Some of these injuries may be
temporary and short-lived, whereas others can be long-lasting or permanent.
According to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) in 2008, 21% of assault victims sustained physical injuries. Those who experienced robbery were more likely to be injured; 37% of robbery victims suffered physical injury. A larger percentage of female victims were injured than male victims, although the differences were not large. For example, 24% of female assault victims compared with 19% of male assault victims reported being injured (Bureau of Justice Statistics [BJS], 2011). There appears to be a difference in injury for racial groups as well. For both assault and robbery, injuries were present in a larger percentage of Black victims than White victims (BJS, 2011). The victim–offender relationship was also related to injury—incidents perpetrated by nonstrangers were more likely to result in injury than those perpetrated by strangers (27% for assault and 39% for robbery) (BJS, 2011). In addition, the most recent provisional National Health Service (NHS) data available on assault admissions to hospitals in England show that, for the 12 months ending April 2015, there were 28,992 hospital admissions for assault (Office for National Statistics, 2015)
The most serious physical injury is, of course, death. Although the NCVS does not measure murder—remember, it asks people about their victimization experiences—the Uniform Crime Reports (UCRs) can be used to find out the extent to which deaths are attributable to murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. In 2015, UCR figures showed that 15,696 murders were brought to the attention of the police (FBI, 2015f). The majority of murder victims were male (79%) (FBI, 2015g). Just more than half of murder victims were Black and 44% were White (FBI, 2015h), and 21% were murdered by an acquaintance (FBI, 2015i). Almost three-fourths of the homicides that involved a weapon were gun related (FBI, 2015j). The most common circumstance surrounding a murder is an argument—23% of the homicides for which the circumstances were known resulted from an argument (FBI, 2015k).
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