An Exploratory Study of the Violent Victimization of Women: Race/Ethnicity, Situational Context, and Injury

Laura J. Dugan, University of Maryland at College Park
Robert Apel, University of Maryland at College Park

We address the considerable knowledge gap on the victimization of women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds by utilizing the large number of cases available in the National Crime Victimization Survey (1992-2000). With it, we examine the risk and protective factors associated with violent victimization among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American women. We then describe in more detail the violent incidents against these women, and examine risk and protective factors for various levels of injury resulting from these incidents. Results highlight the usefulnss of disaggregating women by race. For example, we find that the strongest risk factor of violent victimization among women is living in a household with one adult and children. When we disaggregate by race, we find further that this risk is greatest for Asian (and Pacific Islander) women. Also, we find that living in public housing is a risk factor for black and Hispanic women, but not for other women in our sample or for men. An assessment of the context of violence suggests that different circumstances coincide with the victimization of different groups of women. in particular, evidence suggests that Asian women may experience more "random" episodes of victimization. As a whole, our results provide compelling support for race/ethnicity-specific models of victimization.

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Updated 05/20/2006