This study provides benchmark data on the proportion of people in Illinois who have been impacted by crime and the needs that resulted from their victimization, and it also determined how victims' needs are being met by Illinois victim service providers and where gaps in such services currently exist.
The study determined that 55 percent of adults in Illinois have been crime victims in their lifetimes, and among these victims, 21 percent reported criminal victimization within the past 2 years, with many of the crimes occurring in Chicago and its suburbs. Ten percent or less of the crimes were gang-related or involved guns. More frequently, Illinois residents reported being victims of identity theft and scams (25 percent), physical assault (21 percent), child abuse (20 percent), domestic violence (20 percent), robbery (15 percent), or rape/sexual assault (14 percent). Forty-six percent indicated they reported their victimization to law enforcement; reasons given for failure to report were police inability to help or police would blame or not believe them. Counseling and mental health services were most often mentioned as victimization-related needs. Victims of violent crimes were more likely to mention the need for mental health services, along with the need for civil legal assistance in cases of domestic violence or child abuse. About one-third to one-half of victims who indicated their need for help did not receive it, often because they did not know that such services were available for crime victims or did not know how to obtain such services. Recommendations pertain to education and outreach initiatives, initial response to victims, strategies for delivering victim support, and support for under-served victims. 11 tables and appended methodological materials