Differences by Victim Race and Ethnicity in Race and Ethnicity Motivated Violent Bias Crimes: A National Study

Robert Tessler | 2018

Advisor: Ali Rowhani-Rahbar

Research Area(s): Social Determinants of Health



Over 80% of bias motivated violent victimization is motivated by race or ethnicity and over 50% of bias victimization occurs in Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW). Our aim was to determine the risk and health impacts of race/ethnicity motivated violent victimization by victim race/ethnicity.


We examined data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (2003-2015) to estimate violent victimization risk by victim race/ethnicity and type of bias motivation (race/ethnicity or other). We examined incident and offender characteristics for race/ethnicity motivated victimization by victim race/ethnicity.


The risk of race/ethnicity motivated violent victimization was greater for Non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB) and Hispanics than for NHWs (IRR=1.4; 95% CI: 1.0-2.0, and IRR=1.6; 95% CI: 1.2-2.1). Violent incidents for NHB victims more frequently resulted in injury or medical care. Nearly 40% of NHB victims reported difficulties at school or work related to the incident where only 21.5% of NHWs and 11.7% of Hispanic victims reported similar problems. Roughly 37% of NHB victims identified a NHW offender and 45% of NHW victims identified a NHB offender. Hispanic victims identified NHB or NHW offenders in over 70% of incidents.


Although literature suggests that NHWs account for the majority of bias victimizations, the risk of non-fatal violent victimization motivated by race/ethnicity is greater for Non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics. Crimes perpetrated against NHBs are likely more severe and victim/offender racial incongruity is common. Findings provide empiric evidence on race/ethnicity-related structural disadvantage with adverse health consequences.