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U.S. Residents Experienced About 293,800 Hate Crime Victimizations In 2012 - Unchanged From 2004

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 2012, an estimated 293,800 nonfatal violent and property hate crime victimizations occurred in the United States, an estimate not statistically different from 2004 (281,700), the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

While the numbers are similar, the motivations for hate crimes shifted significantly from 2004 to 2012. About half (51 percent) of hate crimes were motivated by ethnicity bias (that is, the victim's ancestral, cultural, social or national affiliation) in 2012, up from 22 percent in 2004. The percentage of hate crimes motivated by religious bias nearly tripled from 10 percent in 2004 to 28 percent in 2012, and the percentage of hate crimes motivated by gender bias more than doubled, from 12 percent to 26 percent during the same period.

These findings are based on BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which measures nonfatal crimes perceived by victims to be motivated by an offender's bias against them because they belong to or are associated with a group largely identified by characteristics designated in the Hate Crimes Statistics Act.

The act defines bias or hate crimes as "crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity." The act has been amended twice―in 1994 to include crimes motivated by bias against persons with disabilities, and in 2009 to include crimes based on gender or gender identity.

An estimated 60 percent of hate crimes were not reported to police in 2012, a slight decline from 2011, when about three-quarters (74 percent) of hate crimes were not reported to police.

About 90 percent of all hate crimes in 2011 and 2012 were violent victimizations, up from 78 percent in 2004. In 2012, about 27 percent of hate crimes were classified as serious violent crimes―rape or sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault, while the majority of hate crimes (63 percent) were simple assaults.  

Other findings include—

  • Hate crime accounted for 1.2 percent of total victimizations, 4.2 percent of violent victimizations and 0.2 percent of property victimizations in 2012.
  • The rate of violent hate crime against Hispanics more than tripled, from 0.6 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2011 to 2.0 per 1,000 in 2012.
  • Persons living in households with an income of $24,999 or less per year experienced the highest rate of violent hate crime victimization in 2011 and 2012, compared to persons residing in all other households.
  • About two-thirds (64 percent) of violent hate crimes were committed by a single offender in 2012.
  • In 2012, the offender had a weapon in at least 24 percent of violent hate crime victimizations, and the victim sustained an injury in 20 percent of violent hate crime victimizations.

The report, Hate Crime Victimization, 2004–2012 - Statistical Tables (NCJ 244409), was written by Meagan Meuchel Wilson, on detail to BJS from the U.S. Census Bureau. The report, related documents and additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics' statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice - Bureau of Justice Statistics

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