Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008
NCES 2009-022
April 2009

Indicator 3: Prevalence of Victimization at School

In 2007, 4 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months. About 3 percent of students reported theft, 2 percent reported violent victimization, and less than half of a percent reported serious violent victimization.

Theft is the most frequent type of nonfatal victimization in the United States (U.S. Department of Justice 2007). Data from the School Crime Supplement13,14 show the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported criminal victimization at school15 during the previous 6 months. In 2007, 4 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being victimized at school during the previous 6 months. About 3 percent of students reported theft,16 2 percent reported violent victimization17 (figure 3.1 and table 3.1), and less than half of a percent reported serious violent victimization.18

In 2007, the prevalence of victimization varied somewhat according to student characteristics. For all types of victimization, no measurable differences were detected by sex in the likelihood of reporting victimization. The percentage of students reporting victimization was higher for students in the 7th or 9th grade than for students in the 12th grade; however, no other measurable differences in the percentages reporting victimization were found across grades. In 2007, no measurable differences were detected in the percentages of White, Black, or Hispanic students who reported victimization, theft, or violent victimization. However, a higher percentage of students of other races/ethnicities than Hispanic students reported victimization, and a higher percentage of students of other races/ethnicities than White or Hispanic students reported violent victimization.

Some differences were also seen by school sector in the prevalence of victimization reported in 2007. A higher percentage of students in public schools reported victimization (5 percent) and theft (3 percent) than students in private schools (1 percent each).

Overall, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who were victimized at school decreased between 1995 and 2005 from 10 to 4 percent. For each type of victimization, the percentage of students reporting victimization decreased between 1995 and 2005. Between the most recent survey years (2005 and 2007), there were no measurable changes in the percentage of students reporting any type of victimization.

This indicator has been updated to include 2007 data. For more information: Table 3.1 and Bauer et al. (2008).

13 In 2005 and 2007, the unit response rate for the SCS survey did not meet NCES statistical standards; therefore, interpret the data with caution. For more information, please see appendix A PDF File (301 KB).
14 Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, the survey sources for these two indicators differ with respect to time coverage and administration. For more information on these two surveys, please see appendix A PDF File (301 KB).
15 "At school" includes the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and, from 2001 onward, going to and from school.
16 Theft includes purse snatching, pick pocketing, all burglaries, attempted forcible entry, and all attempted and completed thefts except motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery in which threat or use of force is involved.
17 Violent victimization includes serious violent crimes and simple assault.
18 Serious violent victimization includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Top


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.