Bojs Third Party Involvement in Violent Crime 1993-1999
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U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report July 2002, NCJ 189100 Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99 By Mike Planty, Ph.D. BJS Statistician At least one other person besides a lone victim and the offender(s) was present at about two-thirds of violent victimizations, according to estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 1993-99. In about 6.4 million violent victimizations annually a third party was present. Less than a quarter of these third parties were victimized themselves. Violent crime is often characterized as an event occurring in isolation between an offender and a victim. These characterizations are often void of the situational and social context in which these events occur. Criminal incidents may occur in the presence of or involve persons in addition to a lone victim and the offender(s). These third parties may be victimized themselves, witness the crime, intervene during the incident, and/or escalate the violence of the incident. (See page 7.) Third parties sometimes choose not to become involved even during an assault. In addition to the third parties’ presence during incidents of violence, they often serve as witnesses to criminal events. They may call the police, provide information that helps to solve crimes, clarify the characteristics of the incident, or bear some responsibility for the commencement or escalation Highlights About 66% of all violent crimes between 1993 and 1999 occurred in the presence of someone in addition to the victim and offender(s). Simple assault Aggravated assault Robbery Rape/sexual assault 0% 25% 50% 75% Percent of violent crimes in which a bystander was present Third parties were present during two-thirds of all violent victimizations between 1993 and 1999. Third parties were present at 70% of assaults, 52% of robberies, and 29% of rapes or sexual assaults. About a third of all intimate partner violence occurred in the presence of a third party compared to about twothirds of violence between strangers or other acquaintances. Less than a quarter of third parties present during a violent crime were harmed or robbed themselves. Of all violent victimizations 51% involved only one victim and at least one third party. Third parties were more likely to help the situation than to make it worse, but more often they did neither. Victims stated that the actions of third parties helped in 36% of violent victimizations, worsened the situation in 11%, and did neither in 44%. Third parties primarily helped by preventing injuries. In 18% of cases where a third party was present, the actions of that person helped to prevent injury, compared to 1% in which the actions caused injury. On average each year, 1993-99, third-party actions prevented injuries in 1.2 million violent victimizations. In 38% of the victimizations in which the third party helped, either the victim escaped or the offender was scared off. Violent victimizations at school or occurring during leisure activities away from home were the most likely circumstances to involve the presence of a third party. Table 1. Third-party presence during violent crime, 1993-99 Year 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Violent victimizations Percent with Total third party 11,630,720 65.5% 11,583,370 66.4 10,225,170 67.4 9,543,460 66.0 9,023,510 66.5 8,548,450 65.8 7,473,880 65.6 of violence. Therefore, to better understand many violent crimes, it is necessary to account for persons present at but often not directly involved in the victimization. This report uses data from the NCVS to describe how often and under what circumstances other people, in addition to the victim interviewed and the offender(s), are present during a violent crime and their impact on the outcome of these events. A third party is an individual(s) other than the victim interviewed and the offender(s) who is present during a violent crime. For example, a third party may be another victim, a bystander, an eyewitness, one who intervenes, an instigator, another household member, a police officer, or some combination of the above. (For The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) The NCVS is the Nation's primary source of information on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization. One of the largest ongoing household surveys conducted by the Federal Government, the NCVS collects information about crimes both reported and not reported to police. The survey provides a national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and the characteristics of violent offenders. This report is one in an ongoing series using the NCVS to inform topics of particular interest. Previous reports in this series and NCVS data are presented on the BJS website at — www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/ Table 2. Third-party presence, by type of crime, 1993-99 Type of crime Total Rape/sexual assault Robbery Aggravated assault Simple assault All 9,718,370 393,200 1,088,390 2,074,940 6,161,830 Average annual violent victimizations With a third party Percent with third party 6,432,480 66.2% 114,160 29.0 560,080 51.5 1,471,630 70.9 4,286,610 69.6 more detailed information on the definition of a third party, see page 3.) stabbed when they attempt to stop a crime. The NCVS cannot identify the true intent of the offender. It does not collect information on whether third NCVS data show for 1993-1999, on average, over 66% of all violent crimes parties present during the incident involved someone besides the offender were targeted by the offender or became involved in some other way. and victim. The percentage of crimes In addition, the NCVS does not record involving a third party did not change the number of third persons present significantly from 1993 to 1999 (table during the incident, only the number 1). who were victimized. Third parties were present most often during aggravated (71%) and simple When present during a violent incident, assaults (70%) and less often during third parties were not likely to be rapes/sexual assaults (29%) (table 2). harmed or robbed (table 3). While About half of all robberies are commit- 66% of all violent victimizations ted in the presence of a third party. involved third parties, 15% involved multiple victims. Of those incidents in which a third party was present, 23% Victimization of third parties involved two or more victims: 14% It is possible that third parties were also involved two victims, 4% three victims, and 5% four or more victims. the target of the violence, such as a robber who victimized a group of shoppers. In other cases the third Of those victimizations involving third party may have been harmed when he parties, the number of victims varied by type of crime (table 4). Thirty-two or she attempted to intervene. For percent of aggravated assault incidents example, third parties may be shot or involving third parties resulted in Presence of a third party Table 3. Number of victims present in violent incidents, by type of crime, 1993-99 Type of crime Rape/sexual assault Robbery Aggravated assault Simple assault All violence Total 100% 100 100 100 100 Percent of victimizations Only victim One victim and present third parties 67.9% 25.7% 45.4 38.1 27.0 48.2 28.5 55.8 31.7 51.0 Multiple victims 3.3% 13.3 22.7 13.7 15.2 Note: Detail may not add to total shown because of rounding. For each type of crime there were 3% or less of victimizations with other or unknown configurations of victims. Table 4. Number of victims in crimes with third-party presence, by type of crime, 1993-99 Type of crime Rape/sexual assault Robbery Aggravated assault Simple assault Total Total 100% 100 100 100 100 Number of victims 1 2 3 4 or more 88.6% 7.5% 1.4% 2.5% 74.1 16.1 5.7 4.1 68.0 19.2 5.8 7.0 80.3 12.6 3.2 3.9 77.1 14.3 4.0 4.6 Note: Detail may not add to total shown because of rounding. 2 Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99 Definition of a third party in the NCVS A third party for this study is defined as any person at least age 12, other than the victim interviewed and the offender, who was present during the victimization. Third parties may have been victimized during the incident and did not necessarily intervene, physically or verbally. Third-party presence and the actions of third parties are based on the victim’s perception of the events as stated during the survey interview. These perceptions were influenced by the victim’s ability to accurately recognize and recall the attributes of the incident. For example, victims may have not been aware of the presence or actions of other parties outside of their purview while the crimes were occurring. Third parties include eyewitnesses, bystanders, instigators, interlopers, other household members, and police officers. Third parties can be a single person or a group. In some cases the victim may have been a third-party witness who intervened and was then victimized. The NCVS does ask how many other persons were victimized but does not count the number of third parties present. An incident may have multiple victims, including third parties age 12 or older who were present during the incident and were either harmed or threatened with harm. To be considered “present,” the third party must have been at the immediate scene of the crime during the incident. The opportunity for this person to be attacked or threatened or to lose something by robbery or theft must have been possible to consider the person present. The third party did not have to be conscious or awake to be considered present. A third party not at the scene of the crime but personally attacked or threatened with harm or subject to attempted harm was considered present. These situations include being shot at through a window by someone outside a building and being threatened by a neighbor in the next yard but do not include threats not made in person, such as over the telephone or through another person, the mail, or the Internet. Table 5. Number of offenders and victims in violent crime, 1993-99 Lone Multiple victim victims Total All violence 84.8% 15.2% 9,718,370 Lone offender 87.9 12.1 7,459,780 Multiple offenders 73.1 26.8 1,953,700 another person being harmed or robbed, compared to 11% of rape/ sexual assaults. Compared to other types of crime, assaults are significantly more likely to involve a third party, and these persons are more likely to be harmed. In general, crimes with multiple offenders were more likely than singleoffender crimes to involve multiple victims (table 5). Twenty-seven percent of the victimizations involving multiple offenders were associated with multiple victims compared to 12% of victimizations involving a single offender. Victim characteristics and thirdparty involvement Table 6. Third-party presence during violent crime, by victim characteristics, 1993-99 Characteristic Gender Male Female Percent Average involving annual third victimizations party 5,503,970 4,214,400 70.2% 60.9 Age 12-15 16-19 20-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65 or older 1,601,170 1,549,050 1,478,070 2,159,370 2,195,480 583,540 151,680 74.5% 73.9 67.7 61.3 60.9 60.8 51.5 Marital status Never married Married Divorced/separated Widowed 5,528,240 2,431,880 1,606,570 118,300 69.7% 67.1 54.2 50.7 Race White Black Other* Hispanic 6,955,230 1,373,600 281,610 978,340 67.1% 63.4 62.4 64.0 Household income Less than $7,500 $7,500-$14,999 $15,000-$24,999 $25,000-$34,999 $35,000-$49,999 $50,000-$74,999 $75,000 or more 1,117,260 1,286,180 1,468,080 1,344,010 1,447,470 1,251,110 846,120 60.7% 61.2 64.8 66.7 69.5 72.0 71.7 *In this report “other races” and “others” are defined as Asians, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, Alaska Natives, and American Indians and are considered together. Age of victim The percentage of violent crimes committed in the presence of someone other than the victim and offender varied by important victim characteristics (table 6). Gender of victim Males were more likely than females to experience a violent crime in the presence of a third party, 1993-99. Seventy percent of all violent crime involving male victims was committed in the presence of another person compared to 61% involving female victims. Younger persons were more likely to experience violent victimization in the presence of another party. Seventyfour percent of all violent crime experienced by victims age 12 to 19 involved third parties, compared to 61% of incidents with victims age 25 to 64 and 52% with victims age 65 or older. Sixty-eight percent of all violence experienced by victims age 20 to 24 occurred in the presence of a third party. Marital status Married victims were as likely as those who have never been married to have a third party present during a violent crime. Seventy percent of all violence experienced by those never married Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99 3 Table 7. Third-party presence, by victim-offender relationship, 1993-99 Table 9. Third-party presence, by perceived alcohol/drug use by offender during incident, 1993-99 Victim-offender Average annual Percent with relationship victimizations third-party Stranger 4,560,520 70.4% Intimates 1,044,540 35.6 Other 4,113,310 69.3 acquaintances Perceived use Average annual Percent with by offender victimizations third-party Alcohol/drug 2,896,770 69.6% No alcohol/drug 2,758,820 66.1 Do not know 3,945,100 65.2 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Table 8. Third-party presence, by perceived involvement of a gang in the incident, 1993-99 Table 10. Third-party presence, by weapon presence, 1993-99 Perceived gang Average annual Percent with involvement victimizations third-party Gang-related 781,090 75.0% Non-gangrelated 5,179,610 65.0 Unsure 3,538,030 68.1 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. occurred in the presence of a third party compared to 67% of those who were married. Divorced/separated and widowed persons were less likely to have another person present during the violent event (54% and 51%, respectively). Presence of Average weapon during annual crime victimizations No weapons 6,377,840 Weapon 2,533,530 Firearm 943,750 Knife 626,200 Other weapon 852,650 Unknown 110,930 Do not know if 807,000 offender armed Percent with thirdparty 66.7% 66.6 64.8 65.9 69.8 61.4 61.0 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Offender characteristics and third-party involvement Table 11. Third-party presence during violent crime, by situational characteristic, 1993-99 Situational characteristic Locality Urban Suburban Rural Average Percent annual with thirdvictimizations party 3,652,890 4,539,610 1,525,860 64.2% 67.3 67.8 Activity Work 1,743,380 Traveling to or from work 407,800 Shopping/errands 373,490 School 825,450 Traveling to or from school 361,280 Leisure away from home 2,206,740 Sleeping 206,920 Other home activity 1,940,090 Traveling to or from other activity 876,540 Other 734,800 57.8 66.7 Time of incident Day Night 66.8% 66.0 5,104,030 4,489,870 74.5% 44.8 60.9 80.3 71.1 77.2 46.1 51.2 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Sixty-four percent of violent crimes in which the victim knew the offender occurred in the presence of a third party compared to 70% for violence involving strangers (table 7). Intimate partner violence occurred in the presence of third parties 36% of the time compared to 69% for non-intimate violence. present in 67% of violent incidents involving a weapon or not. In general, white victims experienced violence more often in the presence of a third party than victims of other races. From 1993 to 1999, 67% of violent victimizations experienced by white victims occurred in the presence of a third party compared to 63% for Three-quarters of all gang-related inciblack victims, 64% for Hispanic victims, dents involved third parties compared and 62% for victims of “other races.” to 65% of non-gang violence (table 8). The level of third-party involvement in violent crime was greater in both rural and suburban locations than in urban areas (table 11). Sixty-four percent of urban victims of violent crime reported the presence of a third party compared to 67% and 68% for suburban and rural victims, respectively. Household income Third parties were more likely to be present when the victim perceived that the offender was using alcohol and/or drugs during the incident (70%) (table 9). Victim activity Race of victim Overall the higher the person’s annual household income, the greater the likelihood that a third party was present during the victimization. Third parties were present at 61% of victimizations in which the victim had an annual household income of less than $15,000, compared to 72% of victimizations of victims with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more. Situational aspects of victimizations involving third parties Weapon use Third parties were as likely to be present at crimes in which someone had a weapon firearm, knife, or other weapon as they were to be at incidents in which there was no weapon (table 10). A third party was 4 Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99 Urbanicity The presence of third parties varied depending on what the victim was doing before the incident occurred. School and leisure activities away from home were the most likely activities to include third parties when a victimization occurred. Time of incident The presence of a third party did not vary by the time the incident occurred. Both daytime and nighttime victimizations had a third party present about 66% of the time. Table 12. Police notification and third-party presence, 1993-99 Table 13. Whether third-party involvement helped or worsened the situation, 1993-99 Percent of violent incidents Average Presence Police Police not Do not annual of third party notified notified know victimizations Lone victim 40.6% 58.8% 0.6% 3,078,100 Third party 44.2 54.2 1.6 6,432,480 Do not know 37.0 60.5 2.4 106,460 Total 42.9 55.8 1.3 9,718,370 Third-party involvement Helped Worsened Both Neither Do not know Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Table 14. Whether third-party involvement helped or worsened the situation, by type of crime, 1993-99 Type of crime Rape/sexual assault Robbery Aggravated assault Simple assault Total Percent of violent incidents in which third party — Do not Total Helped Worsen Both Neither know 100% 33.4% 15.2% 0.9% 43.1% 7.4% 100 29.2 12.1 2.7 49.3 6.8 100 38.3 11.0 3.0 41.0 6.8 100 36.0 11.3 2.7 43.9 6.1 100 35.9 11.3 2.7 43.7 6.4 Average annual victimizations 114,160 560,080 1,471,630 4,286,610 6,432,480 Average annual victimizations 2,306,210 729,850 176,670 2,811,160 408,600 Percent total 35.9% 11.3 2.7 43.7 6.4 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. assaults. The percent of third parties who made the situation worse did not differ by type of crime. Third parties helping the situation A third party most often helped the victim by preventing injury (47%) (table 15). This help resulted in 1.2 million Third-party involvement and victimizations annually, 1993-99, in whether it helped or worsened the which an injury or further injury to the situation victim was prevented. In 38% of the cases in which the third parties helped, For all types of crime, when third either the victim escaped (20%) or the parties were present, victims stated offender was scared off (18%), totaling that the third parties were more likely to 940,310 such victimizations annually. help the situation (36%) than to make it Third-party actions also helped to worse (11%), but most of the time they protect other people (9%) and property did neither (44%) (table 13). In a small (3%). number of cases, third parties both helped and hurt the situation (3%). Third parties worsening the situation Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Reporting to the police The presence of a third party was significantly related to whether the police were notified (table 12). Police notification occurred 41% of the time when the victimization involved only the victim versus 44% when the victimization occurred in the presence of a third party. Police notification by the victim or by someone else may occur during the incident or hours or even days later. Table 15. How third-party involvement helped or worsened the situation, 1993-99 Victim opinion of third-party involvementa Helped Prevented injury Scared offender off Victim escaped Protected property Protected other people Helped other ways Worsened Victim injured More property loss Others hurt worse Offender got away Made offenderangrier Harmed other ways Average annual victimizations Percent of total with third partyb 1,154,780 447,280 493,030 80,830 228,200 824,530 18.0% 7.0 7.7 1.3 3.5 12.8 69,120 14,230 44,420 12,010 559,280 275,980 1.1% 0.2 0.7 0.2 8.7 4.3 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. a Victims could indicate more than one category. b The numbers do not total to 100% because the third party did not always help or worsen the incident (43%) and victims could indicate multiple categories. The NCVS asks only about how the actions of the third party either helped or worsened the situation. It does not gather information about the number of third parties present who could have intervened or about the characteristics of those who did (or did not) intervene. Third parties were more likely to help the situation than to make it worse, regardless of the type of crime (table 14). However third parties were less likely to help the situation during robberies (29%) compared to either simple (36%) or aggravated (38%) In cases when the victim stated that third-party actions worsened the situation, usually the offender had become angrier (62%). In 8% of these cases, third-party actions resulted in victim injury, and in 5%, in others being hurt worse. In 30% of these cases the victim was harmed in other ways. In 18% of cases when a third party was present the actions of this person helped to prevent injury compared to 1% in which the actions caused victim injury. Table 16. Whether third-party involvement helped or worsened the situation, by the presence of a weapon, 1993-99 Presence of weapon during crime Weapon No weapon Do not know Percent of violent incidents in which third party — Do not Total Helped Worsened Both Neither know 100% 36.6% 11.1% 2.6% 43.2% 6.4% 100 36.3 11.7 2.8 43.9 5.4 100 29.7 9.0 2.7 43.8 14.7 Average annual victimizations 1,687,550 4,252,670 492,270 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99 5 Intervention outcomes and incident characteristics When a third party was present, the victim's perception varied as to whether the third party helped or made the situation worse. Table 17. Whether third-party involvement helped or worsened the situation, by victim-offender relationship, 1993-99 Victim-offender relationship Stranger Intimates Other acquaintances Percent of violent incidents in which third party — Do not Total Helped Worsened Both Neither know 100% 37.5% 10.3% 2.7% 43.1% 6.3% 100 35.4 11.5 2.3 43.9 6.9 100 34.0 12.5 2.9 44.4 6.3 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Weapons There was no significant difference in whether a third party either hurt or helped the situation if the offender was armed or unarmed (table 16). Third parties helped in about 37% of cases and hurt in 11%, but were most likely to do neither (43%). Victim-offender relationship Victims perceived third-party involvement as more helpful in incidents involving strangers than in victimizations in which the victims knew the offenders (table 17). In addition, third parties were more likely to make the situation worse when the offender was known to the victim than in a strangerrelated victimization. In either case third parties were more likely to help than make the situation worse, but often did neither. When intimate partner violence and non-intimate violence is compared, the results of third-party involvement did not differ significantly. Third parties helped in about 35% of these victimizations, made the situation worse in 12% of the cases, and did neither in 44%. In both cases, third parties were more likely to help than hurt, but often did neither. Table 18. Whether third-party involvement helped or worsened the situation, by location of victim’s residence, 1993-99 Location of victim's residence Urban Suburban Rural Percent of violent incidents in which third party — Average Do not annual Total Helped Worsened Both Neither know victimizations 100% 35.4% 10.8% 2.5% 44.2% 7.2% 2,343,820 100 36.2 11.4 2.7 43.8 5.3 3,053,440 100 34.1 12.5 3.5 42.3 7.7 1,025,220 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Table 19. Whether third-party involvement helped or worsened the situation, by perceived gang involvement of the offender, 1993-99 Perceived gang involvement Gang-related Non-gang-related Do not know Average annual victimizations 3,209,400 371,550 2,851,530 Percent of violent incidents in which third party — Do not Total Helped Worsened Both Neither know 100% 36.1% 14.6% 4.2% 40.8% 4.2% 100 37.2 10.9 3.0 43.7 5.2 100 34.3 11.3 2.1 44.1 8.1 Average annual victimizations 585,590 3,365,130 2,409,370 Urbanicity The outcome of third-party involvement did not differ by the residential location of the victim (table 18). Regardless of location third parties helped the situation in about 35% of victimizations and made it worse in about 11% of victimizations. Gang-related incidents The percent of victimizations that were helped by third-party involvement did not differ significantly based on offender gang membership (table 19). However if the offender was in a gang third parties were likely to make the situation worse. In all instances, third parties were more likely to help than to make the situation worse, but most did neither. Offender alcohol/drug use When the victim perceived the offender to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs during the incident, third parties were more likely to help the situation than to make it worse or to have no impact (table 20). In these incidents, third-party actions were more likely to help the situation or to make the situation worse compared to incidents in which the offender was not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. Survey methodology Table 20. Third-party involvement and incident outcomes, by offender alcohol and drug use, 1993-99 Perceived use by offender Alcohol/drug No alcohol/drug Do not know Percent of violent incidents in which third party — Do not Total Helped Worsened Both Neither know 100% 42.4% 12.6% 4.1% 35.6% 5.3% 100 34.5 10.5 2.4 47.8 4.8 100 31.8 11.0 2.0 47.2 8.1 Average annual victimizations 2,017,230 1,824,530 2,571,380 Note: Table totals differ because some respondents did not answer some questions. 6 Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99 This Special Report presents data on rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS gathers data on crimes against persons age 12 or older, reported and not reported to the police, from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. The NCVS provides information about victims (age, gender, race, ethnicity, marital status, income, and educational level), offenders (gender, race, approximate age, and victim-offender relations) and the nature of the crime (time and place of occurrence, use of weapons, nature of injury, and economic consequences). Between 1993 and 1999 approximately 336,300 households and 651,750 individuals age 12 or older were interviewed. For the NCVS data presented, response rates varied between 93% and 96% of eligible households and between 89% and 92% of eligible individuals. In some instances the sample size used to generate an estimate is small. While the estimate is reliable, it is also likely associated with a relatively large confidence interval and should be viewed with caution. Standard error computations Comparisons of percentages and rates made in this report were tested to determine if observed differences were statistically significant. Differences described as higher, lower, or different passed a hypothesis test at the .05 level of statistical significance (95% confidence level). The tested difference was greater than twice the standard error of that difference. For comparisons that were statistically significant at the 0.10 level (90% confidence level), “somewhat,” “slightly,” or “marginally” is used to note the nature of the difference. Caution is required when comparing estimates not explicitly discussed in this Special Report. What may appear to be large differences may not test as statistically significant at the 95% or the 90% confidence level. Significance testing calculations were conducted at the Bureau of Justice Statistics using statistical programs developed specifically for the NCVS by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. These programs take into consideration many aspects of the complex NCVS sample design when calculating generalized variance estimates. Further reading on third parties and crime Richard Felson and H. S. Steadman, “Situations and Processes Leading to Criminal Violence,” Criminology, 26, 1983, pp. 59-74. Leslie Kennedy and David Forde, When Push Comes to Shove: A Routine Conflict Approach to Violence, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1999. B. Latane and S. Nida, “Ten Years of Research on Group Size and Helping,” Psychological Bulletin, 89, 1981, pp. 308-324. A. M. Rosenthal, Thirty-eight Witnesses, New York: McGraw Hill, 1964. R. L. Shotland and L. I. Goodstein, “The Role of Bystanders in Crime Control,” Journal of Social Issues, 40, 1984, pp. 9-26. Samantha Wells and Kathryn Graham, “The Frequency of ThirdParty Involvement in Incidents of Barroom Aggression,” Contemporary Drug Problems, 26, 1999, pp. 457-480. Sexual assault includes a wide range of victimizations, distinct from rape or The NCVS data have a number of data attempted rape. These crimes include collection procedures to consider when completed or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact discussing violent crime. The victims between the victim and offender. recall the incidents and the data are not verified through other data sources. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things Victims do not report many of these as grabbing or fondling. Sexual incidents to law enforcement officials. The survey relies on the victim’s ability assault also includes verbal threats. to recall accurately the characteristics Robbery is a completed or attempted of each incident. theft directly from a person, of property The NCVS treats six or more incidents or cash by force or threat of force, with similar in nature, for which the victim is or without a weapon, and with or unable to furnish the specific details for without an injury. each incident separately, as “series Aggravated assault is a completed or data.” Only the incident information attempted attack with a weapon, about the most recent incident is regardless of whether or not an injury collected, and the NCVS counts the occurred. It is also an attack without a series as one victimization. weapon in which the victim is seriously Violent crime is defined in this report as injured. attempted or completed rape, sexual Simple assault is an attack without a assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. Definitions used in weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury (such as bruises, black this report are as follows: eyes, cuts, scratches, or swelling), or an undetermined injury requiring less Rape is forced sexual intercourse, than 2 days of hospitalization. Simple including both psychological coercion assaults also include attempted and physical force. Forced sexual assaults without a weapon. intercourse means vaginal, anal, or Definitions oral penetration by the offender(s). This category includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. This definition includes attempted rapes, male and female victims, and heterosexual and homosexual rape. Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99 7 This report and the data that it analyzes are available on the Internet through <www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs>. The Bureau of Justice Statistics is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. Lawrence A. Greenfeld is acting director. BJS Special Reports address a specific topic in depth from one or more datasets that cover many topics. Mike G. Planty wrote this report under the supervision of Michael Rand. Timothy C. Hart provided statistical assistance and verification. Callie Marie Rennison reviewed the report and prepared it for release. Tom Hester edited the report. Jayne Robinson prepared the report for publication. July 2002, NCJ 189100 8 Third-Party Involvement in Violent Crime, 1993-99