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Permanent Council of The OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security


With the support of

Government of Canada
through its "Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program" (ACCBP)

OAS Inter-American Observatory on Security
DPS > Observatory > Links > Victimization Surveys

Victimization Surveys in the Americas*


Visit the Interamerican Observatory data to obtain statistical information of victimization survey´s indicators

For detailed information on Crime Victimization in the Americas and other regions of the world, visit the website of the
UNODC INEGI Center of Excellence Center of Excellence for Government Statistical Information, Public Security, Victimization and Justice.

For more information: see also additional sources for victimization surveys in the Inter-American setting or international setting

All links and resources are provided in their original language.  


Questionnaire Methodology Report

Argentina began conducting victimization surveys in 1995 in Buenos Aires, incorporating the country's major cities in the following years. The method of collection was based on the International Crime Victims Survey (ICVS), a questionnaire produced by the UNICRI/UNODC.

 More information>>
Encuesta de Victimización


Questionnaire  Methodology

The Victimization Survey of Barbados (BARCS) measures the level of crime experienced by a household. The first BARCS was carried out in 2002, interviewing 8,000 people. The BARCS used the same questionnaire that was administered in the many of the 34 countries (The International Crime Victims Survey – ICVS).

More information >>


Questionnaire  Report

The National Survey of Victimization was conducted from 2010 to 2012 by the Security Department. The Victimization Survey is used to compare Brazil with countries that do this type of surveys using the methodology of the UNICRI/UNODC (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice).

More information  >>


Questionnaire Report

In 2009, the Government of Canada (Statistics Canada ) conducted a survey of victimization, the public perception of crime and the justice system. Past surveys were conducted in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. For the 2009 survey, they conducted 28,000 surveys over the phone with approximately 24,000, older than 15 years of age that lived in the 10 providences.

More information >>


Questionnaire Methodology Report

The National Urban Survey of Citizen Security (ENUSC) has been conducted since 2003, under an agreement between Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas and the Ministerio del Interior. The 2013 survey aims to gather information regarding the level of victimization, perception of insecurity and evaluation by Chileans of the authorities responsible for Public Security.

More information (Spanish only)>>



DANE conducted the survey in homes, in conjunction with the Departamento Nacional de Planeación in 2013. Its primary objective was to characterize aspects related to crime, what allows the proper authorities to make decisions regarding control, prevention and tracking crime, and measuring unreported crimes.

More information >>

Costa Rica


INEC and PNUD conducted the crime victimization survey in 2008 and 2010. its objectives are to gather historic information and document the results of INEC. Also, to provide information that support the decisions  of public policy.

More information>>


 Report Methodology

The objective was to determine the level of victimization and the perception of insecurity. The household survey began in the cantons that contain the 23 provincial capitals of continental Ecuador. These surveys were conducted with the methodological base of ENICRIV, yet have no strict comparision to it.

More information>>

El Salvador

Methodology Report

In 2004 the Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública (IUDOP) of the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) conducted the first victimization survey under the coordination and financing of the Ministerio de Gobernación, the Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Pública and  the Programa Sociedad Sin Violencia made possible by the United Nations Development Programme (PNUD). In 2009, the IUDOP, a private institution, also conducted a second victimization survey.

More information >>



The Encuestas de Victimización y Percepción de Inseguridad del Programa de Seguridad Ciudadana y Prevención de la Violencia del PNUD Guatemala has measured the situation of municipal insecurity in Guatemala since 2004. The program has conducted six surveys since then biannually.

More information >>


Questionnaire Methodology Report

The 2006 Jamaican National Victimization Survey (JNVS) is the first national victimization survey conducted in Jamaica by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATINJA). The Final report was prepared by the Centre of Criminology of the University of Toronto for the Ministry of National Security, Government of Jamaica. A second survey was conducted in 2009 and its results are to be presented to the public in July, 2010.

More information >>

Dominican Republic


The ENHOGAR-2011 represents 18,000 households. Its objective is analize poverty, life conditions and public security. 


Questionnaire Methodolgy Report

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) leads the implementation of the National Survey of Victimization and Perception (ENVIPE), within the work of the National Information Subsystem of Government, Public Security and Law Enforcement at (SNIGSPIJ).

ENVIPE's purpose is to provide information to society at national level on the phenomenon of criminal victimization and social perceptions on public safety and performance of the authorities, as well as providing elements to different levels of government that support the processes of public policy in these matters.

View poll ENVIPE 2013 (Spanish only)

View questionnaire ENVIPE 2013 (Spanish only)

More information >>



The first official survey of a national scale was conducted in May, 2009, through the signing of an inter-agency cooperation agreement between the Ministerio del Interior; the Secretaría de la Mujer de la Presidencia de la República; the Dirección General de Estadística, Encuestas y Censos (DGEEC); the United Nations Development Programme (PNUD); the Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (UNIFEM) and the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID). The questionnaire used was based on the International Victimization Survey from UNODC -- UNICRI. The sample size was 5,500 cases.

More information >>


Methodology Report

In 2005, the Ministerio de Interior contacted APOYO, a marketing and polling company to conduct a victimization survey in the cities of Arequipa, Cusco, Huamanga, Iquitos, Lima and Trujillo; with 10,300 households and one respondent per household, who was 16 years or older. The field work was carried out during October and December, 2005. More recently, another  study of victimization was conducted in the city of Lima, in 2009.

More information >>

United States

Questionnaires Methodology

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the primary source of information regarding the frequency, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The NVCS began in 1972. Since its creation, the survey has undergone almost constant updates, including an extensive redesign in 1992. The national sample represents 76,000 households and, correspondingly, around 135,300 people.

More information >>



The Comisión de Seguridad Ciudadana de la Cámara Nacional de Comercio y Servicios (CNCS) produced the second edition of the victimization survey. The survey was developed by all the members and professionals at CNCS. The goal was to provide aggregate information about the real security situation as perceived by the businesspersons close to CNCS.

More information >>


The Encuesta Nacional de Victimización y Seguridad Ciudadana 2009 was begun in August 2009. A joint effort between the Consejo Nacional de Prevención y Seguridad Ciudadana and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), which was created out of the police reform in 2006. INE assumed responsibility for carrying out this survey to obtain information for the creation and tracking on security policies.


Additional sources of Victimization surveys in the inter-american setting

Latinobarometro is a public opinion poll that is conducted annually consisting of roughly 19,000 interviews in 18 countries in Latin America representing more than 400 million people.
More information >>

Barometro de las Américas
The Barómetro de las América (or Americas' Barometer) was developed by Vanderbilt University with the purpose of examining public opinion in the Americas, using national samples. In 2004, the first round of surveys was extensive and included 11 countries; the second rounds occurred in 2006 with 22 countries. In 2008, 23 countries of the Americas participated. This site has restricted access.
More information >>

*Victimization surveys have become one of the most used instruments in diagnosing public insecurity, thus, permitting government's to better measure the cifra negra (or gap) between the relatively small number of reported crimes and those that go unreported. However, like any diagnostic tool, it is not completely neutral and objective since it relies of a series of assumptions about the understanding of reality. As experts in the field indicate, the picture of the crime phenomenon produced by this tool depends on how the survey questionnaire is designed.


Last Update: March 20, 2014

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