Ready for some hopeful news? The number of U.S. children living in households experiencing serious violent crimes has decreased by 68% since 1993, according to a new report from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
The BJS report, Prevalence of Violent Crime among Households with Children, 1993-2010, shows that in 2010 approximately 2.8 million children, representing 3.9% of all U.S. children age 17 or younger, lived in a household in which at least one member age 12 or older was the victim of one or more nonfatal violent crimes during the year. This represented a significant decline from 1993, when some 8.7 million children, or 12.6% of all children lived in a household that experienced a violent crime.
Overall, about 6 million fewer U.S. children lived in households that experienced violent crime in 2010 than in 1993.
BJS data showed that during 2010, households with children experienced violent crime at about twice the rate of households without children, or 3.6% compared to 1.8%.
During 2010, about 1.1 million children lived in a household in which at least one member age 12 or older experienced a serious violent crime, which includes rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault, while about 1.8 million lived in a household that experienced a simple assault. Aggravated assaults typically include the use of a weapon.
Some other findings from the BJS report included:
- During 2010, more than 500,000 U.S. households with children experienced one or more serious violent crimes. More than one third of those crimes actually took place inside the home.
- In 2010, violent crime was most prevalent in homes with children that had an annual household income of less than $15,000 (7.0%) and in urban areas (4.5%).
- About 4.1% of the violent crimes occurred in homes with children ages 12 to 17, compared to 2.9% in homes with children ages 0 to 11.
- About 6.5% of the violent crimes reported in 2010 occurred in households consisting of one adult and one child and 6.3% in households headed by an unmarried adult.
Detailed tables on violent crime in households with children can be found in the BJS report, Prevalence of Violent Crime among Households with Children, 1993-2010.