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Is Our Perception of Crime in America Accurate?

  1. Is Our Perception of Crime in America Accurate? BYUradio 54:04

Americans have a perplexing perception of crime. One in three Americans report watching, listening, or reading true crime on a weekly basis. But our fixation on crime goes deeper than entertainment. Both Republicans and Democrats consider violent crime an increasing problem. But most of us are safer today than we’ve ever been. Violent crime in America is down 50% since the 1990s. What’s driving the disconnect in our perception of crime? And what consequences does it have for our communities? Where might be a better place to direct our attention?

On this podcast episode, we talk to a devoted fan of true crime who has also studied the effect it has on people. A leading research on crime and public perception in America explains how the 9/11 terror attacks fueled the disconnect in how safe Americans are and how safe they feel they are. We also speak with a survivor of intimate partner violence who created an organization to educate people about domestic and intimate partner violence, which pose a far greater threat to Americans than the crime we most fear.

Podcast Guests:
Amanda Vicary, Chair of the Psychology Department and professor at Illinois Wesleyan University (

John Roman, senior fellow in economics, justice, and society at NORC at the University of Chicago, director of the Center on Public Safety and Justice (

Twahna P. Harris, domestic violence survivor and founder and executive director of The Butterfly Society (

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