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Crime Victimization Glossary

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This Crime Victimization Glossary is a compilation of terms and definitions provided in the OVC Directory of Crime Victim Services.

The list of terms, its sources, and the links to more information are provided for ease of reference and should not be interpreted as comprehensive and exhaustive to the crime victims field, victimology, or criminology.

Unless otherwise noted – the source of these definitions is the Office for Victims of Crime Performance Measure Dictionary and Terminology Resource, Office for Victims of Crime, 2020.

Glossary Terms and Definitions

Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Adult survivors of sexual abuse and/or assault which was suffered while they were children.


Any willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling, house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, among others.


Simple Assault: Assaults and attempted assaults where no weapon was used, or no serious or aggravated injury resulted to the victim. Intimidation, coercion, and hazing are included.

Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another, inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied with the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

Assistance in Filing Compensation Claims

Assistance to potential recipients of crime victim compensation benefits (including potential recipients who are victims of federal crime) in applying for such benefits may include, but are not limited to, referring such potential recipients to an organization that can so assist, identifying crime victims and advising them of the availability of such benefits, assisting such potential recipients with application forms and procedures, obtaining necessary documentation, monitoring claim status, and intervening on behalf of such potential recipients with the crime victims' compensation program.

Source: Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Program Final Rule, Federal Register, July 2016


Repeated, negative acts committed by one or more children against another child. These negative acts may be physical or verbal in nature—for example, hitting or kicking, teasing or taunting—or they may involve indirect actions such as manipulating friendships or purposely excluding other children from activities. Implicit in this definition is an imbalance in real or perceived power between the bully and victim.


The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.

Child Abuse/Neglect

Physical abuse that is nonaccidental physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) because of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming a child, that is inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or other person. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether the caregiver intended to hurt the child. Physical discipline, such as spanking or paddling, is not considered abuse as long as it is reasonable and causes no bodily injury to the child.

Child Pornography

Any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, including any photograph, film, video, picture, drawing, or computer-generated image or picture, which is produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, where—

  1. its production involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
  2. such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
  3. such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
  4. it is advertised, distributed, promoted, or presented in such a manner as to convey the impression that it is a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Child Sexual Abuse

This may include activities such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution by a parent, caregiver, or other person. This definition includes teen sexual assault.

Crisis Intervention

Communicating among professionals and victims regarding activities resulting from the victimization. This includes actions necessary to expedite a case for victim protection, initiation of legal actions needed to protect the victim such as probation revocation, etc.