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Government releases latest figures on workplace violence.

About 2 million people a year were victims of violent crime or threatened violent crime in the workplace from 1992 to 1996, a recent study by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) shows. Between 1994 and 1996, workplace violence declined by 21 percent, paralleling a 17 percent decline in overall violent crime during that period.

About 12 percent of the attacks reported in the period from 1992 to 1996 resulted in injuries. Fewer than half of all nonfatal violent workplace crimes were reported to police.

Workplace violence is violent acts, including robbery and physical assaults such as homicide, rape, and aggravated and simple assaults, against people at work or on duty. Simple assaults--attacks or attempted attacks without weapons that resulted in no injury--were the most common type of workplace violence reported. About 1.5 million employees were victims of such assaults.

Homicide followed fatal accidents as a leading cause of death in the workplace. About 17 percent of fatalities in the workplace were attributed to homicide. Firearms were used to commit more than 80 percent of workplace homicides.

About 67 percent of workplace victims were male, 33 percent were female. Law enforcement officers, private security guards, and taxicab drivers were attacked most often. Most workplace violence--59 percent--was committed by strangers. Disgruntled current or former employees and intimates were other offenders, the study said.

BJS Director Jan Chaiken said, "About 37 percent of the victims of workplace violence knew their offenders, but very few--only about 1 percent--were victimized by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.... Nationwide, 21 percent of all violence against women and 2 percent of violence against men is committed by intimates."

To obtain a copy of the study, "Workplace Violence, 1992-96," contact the BJS Clearinghouse at (800) 732-3277 and request document NC J-168634, or go to the BJS Web site at bis. The study is also available on the BJS fax-on-demand service at (301) 519-5550. Request document 118.
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Author:Reichert, Jennifer L.
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 1, 1998
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