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Blacks Twice as Likely as Whites To Be Robbery Victims

April 23, 1990

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Blacks are more likely than whites to be victims of rape or aggravated assault and are more than twice as likely to be robbery victims, according to a federal study released Sunday.

The rate of such violent crimes occurring against black Americans age 12 or older was 44 per 1,000 compared with 34 per 1,000 whites in the same age group, according to data collected by the Justice Department’s National Crime Survey between 1979 and 1986.

There were 13 robberies per 1,000 blacks during the seven-year period, compared with five robberies per 1,000 whites, the study said. The rate of aggravated assaults was 14 per 1,000 blacks and 9 per 1,000 whites. There were 1.5 rapes per 1,000 black women, compared with 0.8 rapes per 1,000 white women.

Whites were more likely to be victims of simple assault with a rate of 19 per 1,000 compared to 16 simple assaults per 1,000 blacks.

Blacks were more likely to be physically attacked or threatened with violence than whites during the commission of a crime, the study said.

Among victims of aggravated assault, 48 percent were black, while 41 percent were white.

In addition, blacks were more likely to be attacked by someone holding a knife, gun or some other weapon.

The statistics gathered from the survey showed that 48 percent of black victims of violent crimes reported facing an armed attacker, compared with 33 percent of the white victims of those crimes.

The injury rate for black victims of aggravated assault also was higher than whites. Twenty-four percent of black victims, compared with 16 percent of whites, sustained serious injuries such as knife wounds, bullet wounds or broken bones.

Whites were more likely to be attacked and injured during robberies than blacks. Thirty-four percent of white robbery victims were injured, compared with 28 percent of blacks.

But blacks were more likely to be severely injured. Sixty-one percent of black victims who were injured received medical treatment, compared with 46 percent of injured white victims.

The overnight hospitalization rate for injured black victims was 8 percent, compared with 4 percent among whites.

The data was collected from the nationwide survey of 50,000 households conducted every six months by the department. Members of each household are asked if they have been victims of crimes during the previous six months.

The survey does not include murder statistics. But the report contained FBI crime statistics for 1986 showing that the murder rate among blacks was 31.2 per 100,000 compared with 5.4 per 100,000 whites.

The rate among black males was 52.3 per 100,000 compared with 7.9 per 100,000 white men.

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