Victimization, perception of insecurity, and changes in daily routines in Mexico

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OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationships between victimization, perception of insecurity, and changes in routines. METHODS: The 8,170 subjects of both sexes (49.9% women and 50.1% men) aged between 12 and 60 years, selected from a proportional stratified sampling, participated in this study. The measuring instrument was an adaptation of the National Survey on Victimization and Perception of Public Security. Chi-square tests were performed. RESULTS: The results show significant differences on victimization and sex regarding perception of insecurity, restrictions on everyday activities, and protection measures. 13.1% of those interviewed claimed to have been victims of a crime in the past 12 months. 52.7% of women considered their municipality as unsafe or very unsafe. In the case of men, this percentage was 58.2%. Female victims reported significant restrictions in everyday activities when compared to non-victims. In relation to men, the percentage of victims with a high restriction of activities was higher in male victims than non-victims. In the group of victimized women, the segment of women who opted for increased measures of protection against crime was larger than expected, while those of non-victims who took less protective measures was lower than expected. These same results were observed in the group of men. CONCLUSIONS: The experience of victimization implies a greater perception of insecurity. However, the climate of insecurity is widespread in a large number of citizens. Gender differences in a high-crime environment show the importance of investigating in depth the roles of both genders in the perception of insecurity and changes in routines.
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Rev Saúde Pública 2016;50:60
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