Race/Ethnicity and Victim-Offender Relationships in Miami Aggravated Assaults

Amie L. Nielsen, University of Miami
Ramiro Martinez, Jr., Florida International University
Anthony Peguero, University of Miami

This paper examines victim/offender relationships in aggravated assaults, with particular attention focused on racial/ethnic differences in types of relationships. Research has shown that there are fundamental differences between stranger and nonstranger homicides that call for the disaggregation of homicide data. However, research on victim and offender relationships for assaults is limited, often due to data limitations, but this is an important issue to examine. To do so we use a sample of aggravated assault cases from Miami, FL for 1996 and 1997, and explore whether there are racial/ethnic differences (White, Black and Latino) in victim-offender relationships, net of the effects of relevant variables (e.g., whether multiple victims). Logistic regression is used to examine the following outcomes: stranger vs. non-stranger, intimate/family vs. other, acquaintance vs. other, and unknown relationship vs. known relationship. The results indicate that there are racial/ethnic differences among both victims and offenders in the relationships. Further, other characteristics of the assaults, such as gun use, also vary by victim-offender relationship.

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Updated 05/20/2006