5. Data on Victimizations Involving Weapons

Serious Violent Victimization by an Intimate Partner Known to Law Enforcement, by Type of Weapon Involved, 2009-2011

Service providers can also use NIBRS data to better understand the dynamics of crimes committed with weapons, discredit myths about weapons and violent crime, and tailor their outreach to and interactions with victims and community members.

The figure above identifies which intimate partner crimes are more likely to involve a weapon. The intimate partner crime most likely to involve a weapon is murder. Of all intimate partner murders committed between 2009 and 2011, 56.2 percent involved a firearm of some type. In contrast, rape and sexual assault were least likely to involve a weapon. Despite a common misconception that the majority of rapes involve a weapon, nearly 90 percent of sexual assaults and rapes reported to law enforcement did not involve a weapon.

Individuals who are victimized by someone they know or are victimized without the use of a weapon may feel that the victimization was their fault or that they should have been able to better defend themselves against the perpetrator. Knowing this—through information available from NIBRS—service providers can help victims understand that they are not alone and not at fault, regardless of whether or not a weapon was used.

The majority of sexual assaults, rapes, and robberies reported to law enforcement did not involve a weapon.