Crimes Against Women Living Alone

Women fall victim to violent attacks than do men as the 2015 Bureau of Justice Statistics' survey consensus has shown. That is why it is important to arm yourself as a woman first with the knowledge and second with practical security measures. This article, however, focuses solely on data collected on violent crimes affecting women. If you live alone, click here for tips on how to protect yourself against burglars and violent criminals.

Violent & Serious Violent Crimes Against Women

College Female Student Studying

Based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), it was found that both violent crimes and "serious" violent crimes targeted more women than men in 2015. In every 1,000 persons, 21.1 experienced a violent crime while 8.1 experienced a "serious" violent crime. 

The following table contains the rates (per 1,000 persons) of violent and serious violent crimes performed against male and female victims in 2015:


  Violent Crimes Serious Violent Crimes
 Total 18.6 6.8
Male 15.9 5.4
Female 21.1 8.1

Note: The NCVS defines a violent crime as a simple assault, aggravated assault, robbery, sexual assault or rape. It defines a serious violent crime as all that was aforementioned while excluding simple assault.

The Most Targeted Age Groups

Woman's Hand Blocking Her Face

As of 2015, the rate of violent crimes committed against women aged between 12 and 17 was 31.1 per 1,000 persons. The study also found that serious violent crimes were committed mostly against women of ages 18 to 24 with the 25-to-34 age group as a close second - the rates of serious violent crimes to both age groups out of every 1,000 persons were 10.7 and 9.3, respectively. 

The table below contains the rates (per 1,000 persons) of violent and serious violent crimes performed against victims of different age groups in 2015:

  Violent Crimes Serious Violent Crimes
 Age Groups    
12-17 31.3 7.8
18-24 25.1 10.7
25-34 21.8 9.3
35-49 22.6 7.8
50-64 14.2 5.7
+65 5.2 1.5

Does a Woman's Marital Status Play a Role?

Marital Status Check Boxes

Interestingly, violent crimes of both orders were perpetrated mostly against women that were either separated, divorced, or never married. If one was to make the argument that this is due solely to the idea that women living alone are weak and vulnerable to attacks, it would be negligent of the fact that there is a tremendous drop in violent crimes made against widows. However, one would also have to consider that women who are widows are less likely to be victimized than other women in different marital situations because they belong to more mature age groups and would have made it farther up the ladder of success before the divorce was settled. Furthermore, divorced women with sustainable incomes or settlement money can afford home security systems and have access to more resources to secure their homes from criminals. Another reason is a divorcee will have a grown-up child who most likely lives with them and protects them.

This, of course, is mere conjecture at this point as a link between violent crimes and women in different marital situations is yet to be addressed in the sociological literature. Although this leaves a question mark, another possibility is raised when one looks at the disproportionate margin between violent crimes made against poorer and richer households (explained in the next section). 

The following table shows the rates (per 1,000 persons) of violent and serious violent crimes performed against women in different marital situations in 2015:

  Violent Crimes Serious Violent Crimes
 Marital Status    
Never Married 26.2 9.4
Married 9.9 3.5
Widowed 8.5 2.9
Divorced 35.3 13.0
Separated 39.5 20.6

The Poorest Are the Most Vulnerable

For every year, consistently, the poorest households have sustained the most attacks from violent criminals, and continue to do so. Those numbers decrease as you go up the ladder of richer and richer households and increase in the opposite direction. One needs not mention the obvious that, of course, poor neighborhoods facilitate gang violence and cases of lawlessness, so it could be argued that it's no surprise that black women are the number one race of women who suffer the most from it.

  Violent Crimes Serious Violent Crimes
 Household Income    
or less $9,999 39.2 17.7
$14,999-$10,000 27.7 12.0
$24,999-$15,000 25.9 8.2
$34,999-$25,000 16.3 5.5
$49,999-$35,000 20.5 7.1
$74,999-$50,000 16.3 5.9
$75,000+ 12.8 4.5

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