DOJ: Violent crime plagues Indian Country
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MARCH 19, 2001

Despite being the smallest segment of the population, American Indians are more than twice as likely to be the victims of violent crime than any other race, according to Department of Justice estimates released on Sunday.

Between 1993 and 1998, the rate of victimization among Americans Indians over the age of 12 was 119 per 1,000. This was more than twice that experienced by African-Americans (57 per 1,000), two-and-a-half times that experienced by Whites (45 per 1,000), and four-and-a-half times that experienced by Asian-Americans (26 per 1,000).

American Indian women, in particular, were the victims of intimate partner violence at higher rates than their counterparts. Between 1993 and 1998, 23 per 1,000 American Indian women were victimized compared to 11 per 1,000 African-American, 8 per 1,000 White, and 2 per 1,000 Asian-American.

Whether male or female, urban or rural, married or unmarried, young or old, high income or low, American Indians were victimized at disproportionately higher rates than any other racial group. Overall, American Indians were 1.3 percent of all victims of violent crime were but just 0.5 percent of the total population.

The statistics released yesterday are the second set the Department of Justice has compiled about violence in Indian Country. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in February 1999 found that the average victimization rate of American Indians over the age of 12 from 1992 to 1996 was 124 per 1,000.

Yesterday's statistics confirm that rapes, assaults, and serious violent crimes continue to plague American Indians just as crime among other races has decreased. Between 1993 and 1998, victimization of Whites fell by 29 percent and victimization of African-Americans fell by 38 percent.

Changes in the victimization rates of American Indians and Asians was not significant, according to the Department of Justice.

Get the Violent Victimization and Race Study:

Get the Intimate Partner Violence Survey:
Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey (The National Institute of Justice, Department of Justice. July 2000)

Relevant Links:
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice -
Violence Against Women Office, Department of Justice -

Related Stories:
Grants awarded to combat domestic violence (The Medicine Wheel 12/05)
Clinton wants violence act renewed (The Medicine Wheel 09/26)
Violence in Indian Country (The Talking Circle 06/15)