Here's some great news -- workplace violence fell 75 percent from 1993 to 2009, affecting law enforcement officers, security guards and bartenders the most, U.S. officials say.
Erika Harrell, a statistician at the Justice Department Bureau of Justice Statistics, says workplace violence dropped from 2.1 million non-fatal violent crimes in 1993 to 572,000 non-fatal violent crimes in 2009. Non-fatal violent crimes are defined as rape, robbery or assault.
The number of workplace homicides decreased by 51 percent, from a high of 1,068 homicides in 1993 to 521 homicides in 2009, Harrell says. Eighty percent of workplace homicides were shootings.
Who is victimized? Males had a higher rate of workplace violence. Non-Hispanic whites had a higher rate of workplace violence than non-Hispanic blacks and people ages 20-34 had the highest rate of workplace violence.
What about who commits the violence? Strangers committed about 53 percent of non-fatal workplace violence against males and about 41 percent against females. From 2005 to 2009, 38 percent of workplace homicide offenders were robbers, 32 percent were other assailants, 21 percent were work associates and 8 percent were spouses, relatives and other personal acquaintances.
An interesting question - what will the "downtick" or "uptick" be from 2009 - 2011? Some people believe the economic downturn has caused an increase in workplace violence. Is this true? Or does it just "seem" that way to us?
And while it's great that workplace violence in general has gone down, if you are an employer (or employee) dealing with an unsafe workplace situation, it doesn't matter to you if workplace violence is "on the decline"...you don't feel safe and you need help. That's why we are thankful we can assist employers who are members of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence in "real time" - and provide general information to employers who call or email us.
Visit our website at http://www.caepv.org/ for resources and information. (And don't forget, just like outside of work, violence at work is a crime. Report it to law enforcement.)
(The report, Workplace Violence, 1993-2009, (NCJ 233231), is available at http://www.bjs.gov/. )