The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is a state-based surveillance system that links data from law enforcement, coroners and medical examiners, vital statistics, and crime laboratories to assist each participating state in designing and implementing tailored prevention and intervention efforts. NVDRS defines a death due to violence as "a death resulting from the intentional use of physical force or power against oneself, another person, or against a group or community." NVDRS collects information about homicides, suicides, deaths by legal intervention-excluding executions-and deaths of undetermined intent. In addition, information about unintentional firearm injury deaths (i.e., the individual did not intend to discharge the firearm) is collected, although these deaths are not considered violent deaths by the above definition. Deaths are included if their underlying causes (ICD codes) are included in these categories.
NVDRS is incident-based and each record contains data on all victims and alleged perpetrators (suspects) associated with a given incident. Multiple victims and/or suspects are determined for inclusion into a single incident record by the timing of the violent injuries, rather than the timing of the deaths, and include all persons with fatal injuries occurring within 24 hours of the first fatal injury, along with source documents indicating a clear link among the deaths. Each incident record includes information about victims, suspects, the relationship between the victim and the suspect, circumstances surrounding the death, and the method of injury.
The ultimate goal of NVDRS is to provide communities with a clearer understanding of violent deaths so they can be prevented. NVDRS accomplishes this goal by:
- informing decision makers and program planners about the magnitude,
trends, and characteristics of violent deaths so appropriate prevention
efforts can be put into place; and
- providing data to help monitor and evaluate state-based prevention programs and strategies.
NVDRS has four main objectives:
- to link records on violent deaths that occurred in the same incident
to help identify risk factors for multiple homicides or
- to provide timely preliminary information on violent deaths (e.g., basic
counts of murders and suicides) through faster data retrieval-currently,
vital statistics data are not available until two years after a death;
- to describe in detail the circumstances that may have contributed to
a violent death; and
- to better characterize perpetrators, including their relationships to victim(s).
In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began implementing NVDRS. States that are funded for NVDRS operate under a cooperative agreement with CDC to whom all violent deaths are voluntarily reported. NVDRS funded six states initially. In 2006, CDC received funding to expand the system to a total of 17 states. The goal is to include in the system all 50 states, all U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
For a list of the states currently funded by NVDRS and their contact information, see the National Violent Death Reporting System State Profiles.
Note: The data in this report are from 16 states, and these states or the data from them were not analyzed or chosen to provide a representative sample of the United States population. Therefore, these data cannot be generalized to the entire U.S. population. Any changes or fluctuations in rates could be as a result of different demographic or socioeconomic fluctuations in these 16 states as compared to the entire U.S. population.
Content Source: National Center for
Injury Prevention and Control, Office of Statistics and Programming
Page last modified:November 18, 2008