Since the emergence of the victim’s rights movement, significant progress has been made in decreasing the violence by both decreasing consequences of the assault and preventing the possible violence. This latter result was achieved in part by the implementation of the National Crime Victimization Survey, which serves the purpose of the early warning system and a valuable tool for analysis of the trends in multiple aspects of criminal activities. Two reports show the significant progress in the declining crime rate of a sexual character as well as those involving firearms.
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The research on firearms violence rates shows a stable decrease in recent years. The homicides related to firearms have gone down 39% from 1993 (18, 253 victims) to 2011 (11,101 victims). The percentage of crimes not resulting in fatalities decreased even more, with almost seventy percent from the 1993’s 1,5 million to 2011’s 467,300 instances (NCVS, 2013). As the firearm-involving homicides comprise around 70% of the total number of fatal crimes, this may be viewed as a contribution to the safety of the population.
The rate of sexual assault victimization has also decreased in the period since 1997. The tendency is overwhelming as it can be observed among students (3,3 to 1,5) and non-student (9,2 to 4,3) age groups alike, with the latter exhibiting more than a 50% decrease (NCVS, 2014).
Reporting of data in a reassuring tone may be used to raise the confidence in the existing organization designated to deal with the issue (e.g. NCVS) or any party that claims the responsibility for the positive outcome.
Sex crimes and firearm violence are known to be a serious issue in American society. While certain effort has been made to mend the adverse outcomes for victims of the assaults and decrease the rates of victimization, the numbers obtained by the NCVS suggest the lack of substantial progress or, in some cases, no progress at all.
The report on firearm violence resulting in death, for instance, shows the 39% decline since 1993. However, under closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the decline occurs in the period of 1993 to 1999, whereas it starts to grow again to 2006 (10,828 to 12,791) and decreases unsubstantially from there on (12,791 to 11,101) (NCVS, 2013). The same tendency is observed regarding the non-fatal violence incidents: a steep decline from 1993 to 2004 (1,529,700 to 456,500, more than 70%), but no significant progress since (2006, only two years later, saw an increase in 157900 victims of violence) (NCVS, 2013).
The same tendency is observed if we look at the rates of sexual victims. The number of non-college age victims has declined from 3,3 to 1,5 per 1000 population. However, as this age group becomes the target of the sexual assault about three times less frequently than students and non-students age 18 to 24, this decline does not influence the numbers significantly. We should instead look at the group where the majority of the victimization occurs. Here, we see the decline from 1997 up to 2006, but virtually no progress from thereon. What’s more, the rates of non-student victimization has risen dramatically from 2006 (less than 6 per 1000) to 2009 (almost 9 per 1000) (NCVS, 2014). There is little doubt that such a situation demands instant action.
Presenting the results in an alarming manner puts the policies or parties currently in force in an unfavorable position. In this case, the periods of 1999 to 2006 and 2006 to 2009 can be used to undermine the actions that correspond to the timeframe. This can be used to undermine their credibility and to gain leverage for the alternative course of action or party.
NCVS. (2013). Firearm violence, 1993-2011. Web.
NCVS. (2014). Rape and sexual assault victimization among college-age females, 1995–2013. Web.