For those of you who wonder what sorts of attacks you're likeliest to encounter (in the US, at least), here's a summary using the latest (2003) statistics from the US Department of Justice. It's pretty easy to get the facts from the Bureau of Justice Statistics site http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs (thanks to blogger Brian Jones on Aikido Journal for his self-defense article pointing me to the BJS site). According to this, in the US you've only got a 2.3% chance of being attacked and 76% of those attacks will be unarmed; and, there's roughly a half chance or better that you'll know your attacker: Criminal Victimization, 2003 (Excerpts from the report, which is much longer) In 2003, there were 23 violent crime victimizations per 1000 people. During 2003, 24% of all violent crime incidents were committed by an armed offender; 7% by an offender with a firearm. The presence of a weapon during a violent crime was related to the type of crime. For example, rape and sexual assault incidents were the least likely (11%) and robberies the most likely (45%) to occur with an armed offender. The type of weapon also varied by the type of violence. 3% of rape/sexual assault incidents occurred with a firearm present, compared to 25% of robbery incidents. The rate of firearm violence in 2003 was 1.9 victimizations per 1,000. In 2002, firearms were used in the majority of murders (71%). Strangers to the victim committed 32% of the violence against females and 54% of the violence against males. Robbery was the crime most likely to be committed by a stranger for both male and female victims. Of those crimes that were categorized as rape/sexual assault, guns were involved in 3%, knives 6%, and other objects in 2% of instances. In cases of aggravated and simple assault, guns were involved in 5%, knives 6%, and other weapons 9% of instances. During 2003, 48% of all violent victimizations were reported to the police. The percentage of violent crime reported differed among the specific types of crime. Robbery (61%) and aggravated assault (59%) were most frequently reported to police.