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NIBRS: Victims of Domestic Violence, 2010



Glossary

Characteristics of Victim

Most serious offense against victim [back to top]
This variable indicates the type of crime committed during an incident. In a case where there were multiple offenses against a victim, the following hierarchy was applied for selecting the most serious offense (Murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; Kidnapping/abduction; Forcible rape; Forcible sodomy; Sexual assault with an object; Forcible fondling; Robbery; Aggravated assault; Simple assault; and Intimidation).
  • Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter: The willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another.
  • Kidnapping/Abduction: The unlawful seizure, transportation, and/or detention of a person against his/her will, or of a minor without the consent of his/her custodial parent(s) or legal guardian. This offense includes not only kidnapping and abduction, but hostage situations as well.
  • Forcible Rape: The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (or because of his/her youth).
  • Forcible Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  • Sexual Assault With An Object: To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  • Forcible Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or, not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  • Robbery: The taking, or attempting to take, anything of value under confrontational circumstances from the control, custody, or care of another person by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear of immediate harm.
  • Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another wherein the offender uses a weapon or displays it in a threatening manner, or the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness. This also includes assault with disease (as in cases when the offender is aware that he/she is infected with a deadly disease and deliberately attempts to inflict the disease by biting, spitting, etc.).
  • Simple Assault: An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
  • Intimidation: To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
Victim-Offender relationship [back to top]
This variable describes the victim's relationship to the offender. To be included in this application, the victim-offender relationship had to fall into one of the following categories:
  • Spouse - includes common-law spouse
  • Parent or step-parent
  • Sibling or step-sibling
  • Child or step-child
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • In-law
  • Other family member
  • Boyfriend/Girlfriend
  • Child or boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Homosexual relationship
  • Ex-spouse
Most serious injury to victim [back to top]
This variable is based on the perception of law enforcement responding to the scene, not based on actual medical records. For the purposes of this application the type of injury category was collapsed (as shown below). Multiple injuries to one victim can be reported in the data. In a case where there were multiple injuries, the following hierarchy was applied for selecting the most serious injury to the victim:
  • Major injury - Death, broken bones, loss of teeth, severe laceration, or unconsciousness.
  • Minor injury
  • None

Characteristics of First Offender With a Domestic Relationship [back to top]

In a case where there were multiple offenders involved in an incident, the demographic information from the first offender record with a domestic/intimate relationship to the victim was included.

Characteristics of the Incident

Domestic Violence Victims in Incident [back to top]
  • Number of Victims: This variable indicates the number of domestic violence victims involved in the incident.
  • Victim(s) Type: More than one domestic violence victim can be involved in a single incident. Demographic information is available on each. This information is used to determine whether the incident involved a lone victim (juvenile, adult) or multiple victimization (multiple adults, multiple juveniles or a combination of juvenile(s) and adult(s)).
Total Number of Offenders [back to top]
This variable indicates the number of offenders involved in the incident.
Type of Weapon [back to top]
This variable indicates the presence of a weapon, but does not imply the weapon was used. For the purposes of this application the type of weapon category was collapsed (as shown below). Multiple weapons can exist if one offender possessed multiple weapons, or if multiple offenders in the incident each possessed one or more weapons. In a case where there were multiple weapons present, the following hierarchy was applied for selecting the type of weapon:
  • Firearm - Firearm, Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and Other gun.
  • Knife - Knife, Cutting instrument, Icepick, Screwdriver, Axe, etc.
  • Blunt object - Hammer, club, etc.
  • Personal - Hands, Fists, Feet, and Other personal weapon.
  • Other - Poison, Pushed out window, Explosives, Fire, Drugs, Drowning, Strangulation, and Asphyxiation.
  • Unknown
  • None
Location [back to top]
This variable describes where the incident occurred. Because victims of domestic violence are predominately victimized in a residence/home, the location category was collapsed (as shown below).
  • Residence - Residence/home.
  • Non-residence - Air/Bus/Train Terminal, Bank/Savings and Loan, Bar/Nightclub, Church/Synagogue/Temple, Commercial/Office Building, Construction Site, Convenience Store, Department/Discount Store, Drug Store/Drs.Office/Hospital, Field/Woods, Government/Public Building, Grocery/Supermarket, Highway/Road/Alley, Hotel/Motel/Etc., Jail/Prison, Lake/Waterway, Liquor Store, Parking Lot/Garage, Rental Stor.Facil., Residence/Home, Restaurant, School/College, Service/Gas Station, Specialty Store (TV, Fur, Etc.), Other/unknown.
Day of Week [back to top]
This variable indicates the day of week the incident occurred.
Type of Clearance [back to top]

This variable indicates whether or not the incident was cleared, and by what means. Generally, an incident can be cleared either by arrest or "exceptional means." The first clearance type requires little elaboration. The second, however, is less intuitive. Exceptional means refers to circumstances beyond the control of law enforcement that prevent an agency from placing formal charges against an offender pursuant to an arrest. Examples of exceptional clearances include the death of the offender; victim refusal to cooperate with prosecution; or the denial of extradition because the offender committed a crime in another jurisdiction and is being prosecuted for that offense.

[The information presented above was adapted from material presented in the FBI's annual Crime in the United States report, under the section labeled "Offenses Cleared"]. Note that the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, which includes NIBRS, counts clearances by the number of offenses that are solved, not by the number of persons arrested.