Domestic Violence Statistics

Did You Know


Domestic Violence Affects a Large Percentage of Our Community

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence. (Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence" (2000)); National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • An estimated 1,300,000 women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. ("Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States", 2003. Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • A woman is beaten every 15 seconds. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Report to the nation on Crime and Justice. The Data." Washington DC Office of Justice Program, U.S. Department of Justice. October 1983)
  • The majority (73%) of family violence victims are female. Females were 84% of spousal abuse victims, and 86% of abuse victims in dating relationships. (US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Family Violence Statistics" June 2005; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the United States - more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation,1991)
  • Females who are 20 to 24 years of age are at the greatest risk for intimate partner violence. (US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Intimate Partner Violence In the United States" December 2006; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. (US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Criminal Victimization, 2005" September 2006; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • 28% of high school and college students surveyed said that they had experienced violence in a dating relationship. (Levy, Barry (1991). Dating Violence: Young Women in Danger, Seattle, WA, Seal Press)
  • 43% of teenage girls (age 14-17) report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. (Children Now/Kaiser Permanente poll, December 1995)
  • One in 6 women and one in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape. (US Department of Justice, "Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women" November 1998; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Sexual assault is reported by 33% to 46% of women who are being physically assaulted by their husbands. (American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Adolescence. Sexual Assault and the Adolescent. Pediatrics. 1994.)
  • Nearly 7,800,000 women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. ("Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States", 2003. Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime. (Tjaden & Thoennes (1998), "Stalking in America", National Institute for Justice; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner, and 31% are also sexually assaulted by that partner. (Tjaden & Thoennes (1998), "Stalking in America", National Institute for Justice; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • In 55% of the cases where men are assaulting their partners, they are also assaulting their children. The battered mother may be suffering from physical and psychological injuries to the point that she cannot meet the needs of her children appropriately. (Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles, Physical Violence in American Families, 1990.)
  • Battered women are more likely to suffer miscarriages and to give birth to babies with low birth weights. (Surgeon General, United States, 1992)
  • 63% of the young men between the ages of 11 and 20 who are serving time for homicide have killed their mother's abuser. (March of Dimes, 1992)

Assaults Against Females Are Under-Reported to Police

  • Only about ¼ of all physical assaults, 1/5 of all rapes, and ½ of all stalkings against females by intimate partners are reported to the police. (Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence" (2000); National Coalition Against Domestic Violence);
  • Domestic violence is one of the most chronically under-reported crimes. (Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence" (2000); National Coalition Against Domestic Violence);
  • Rape remains the most under-reported violent crime in America. Only 16%, or approximately one of every six rapes, are ever reported to the police. Of the reported rapes, one quarter were reported to police more than 24 hours after the rape occurred. (National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, "Rape in America: A Report to the Nation", 1992)

Battering is Not Just a "Momentary Loss of Temper"

  • "One in five women victimized by their spouses or ex-spouses report they had been victimized over and over again by the same person." (The Basics of Batterer Treatment, Common Purpose, Inc., Jamaica Plain, MA)
  • If violence occurs once in a dating relationship, it is likely to occur again. (Levy, Barry (1991). Dating Violence: Young Women in Danger, Seattle, WA, Seal Press)
  • Battering is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and other forms of abuse. The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, isolation, etc. to coerce and to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but it remains as a hidden (and constant) terrorizing factor. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1990)

Domestic Violence Frequently Produces Serious Injuries

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury for women age 15 to 44. More women are injured from domestic violence than rapes, muggings and auto crashes combined.
  • Michigan State Police statistics show that a Michigan woman is killed by a partner or former partner every 5 days.
  • Almost 1/3 of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner, according to police records. (FBI, Uniform Crime Reports "Crime in the United States, 2000" (2001); National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • 76% of female homicide victims had been stalked by the person who killed them. (McFarlane, et al. (1999), "Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicides" National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Less than 1/5 of victims reporting an injury from an intimate partner sought medical treatment following the injury. (US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Intimate Partner Violence in the United States"; December 2006; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Intimate partner violence results in more than 18,500,000 mental heath care visits each year. ("Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States", 2003. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • In 1996, approximately 1,800 murders were attributed to intimates. The victim was female in almost 75% of the cases. (Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the U.S." (2003)
  • 20% of female homicide victims are between 15 to 24 years old. (Barry Levy (1993). In love and Danger, Seattle, WA, Seal Press)

Intimate Partner Violence Has a Large Economic Impact on Our Nation

  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services. ("Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States", 2003. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current of former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs, and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of the violence. ("Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States", 2003. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • There are 16,800 homicides, and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion. ("The Cost of Violence in the United States", 2007. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Intimate Partner Violence Has a Significant Effect on Children - the Next Generation of Parents

  • Witnessing violence between one's parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. (Break the Cycle website; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their partners and children when they become adults. (Stauss, Gelles and Smith (1990), "Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptation to Violence in 8,145 Families. Transaction Publishers; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household. (Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence" (2000); Edelson, J.L. (1999), "The Overlap Between Child Maltreatment and woman Battering", Violence Against Women, 5:134-154; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Leaving an Abusive Relationship is Not "Easy"

  • The most dangerous time for a woman who is being battered is when she leaves, according to a study by the United States Department of Justice.
  • In Michigan, 75% of the women who are killed by their partners are murdered after the relationship is over or as it ends.
  • Women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by the batterer than for those who stay. (Barbara Hart, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1988)
  • About 20% of the 1.5 Million people who experience intimate partner violence annually obtain civil protection orders. (Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey" (2000); National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Nationally, 50% of all homeless women and children are on the streets because of violence in the home. (Senator Joseph Biden, U.S Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Violence Against Women: Victims of the System, 1991)
  • There are nearly three times as many animal shelters in the United States as there are shelters for battered women and their children. (Senate Judiciary Hearings, Violence Against Women Act, 1990)

Most Battered Women Do Leave Violent Relationships

  • Many battered women do leave their abusers permanently and succeed in building a life free of violence. Almost all battered women leave at least once.

Domestic Violence Knows No Boundaries

  • People of all socio-economic classes, races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, and sexual orientations can be victims of domestic violence. Many statistics have been gathered from lower-class families, but only because lower-class women are more likely to request assistance from agencies, so their problems are more visible. Many upper-class victims fear making their battering public because of social embarrassment and fear that it may harm their husband's careers. (Schulman, MA. "A Survey of Spousal Violence Against Women in Kentucky." Washington, DC. U.S Government Printing Office, 1979)
  • Women of all cultures, races, occupations, income levels, and ages are battered - by husbands, boyfriends, lovers and partners. (Surgeon General Antonia Novello, as quoted in Domestic Violence: Battered Women, publication of the Reference Department of the Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA)
  • "Approximately one-third of the men counseled (for battering) at Emerge are professional men who are well respected in their jobs and their communities. These have included doctors, psychologists, lawyers, ministers, and business executives." (For Shelter and Beyond, Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Service Groups, Boston, MA 1990)
  • Violence is the reason stated for divorce in 22% of middle-class marriages. (EAP Digest November/December 1991)

Married Women Are Not the Only Victims of Domestic Violence

  • People who are dating, separated, living together, divorced, have a child in common and/or are married, can be abused. Domestic violence can occur in any of these relationships.
  • Approximately 80% of sexual assaults against women are perpetrated by assailants known to the victim (friends, acquaintances, intimates, and family members). Acquaintance rape is particularly common among adolescent victims. (American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Adolescence. Sexual Assault and the Adolescent. Pediatrics. 1994)
  • Male victims represent 5% of reported sexual assaults. (Heise, L.L. Reproductive freedom and violence against women: where are the intersections? J Law Med Ethics. 1993.)
  • 28% of high school and college students surveyed said that they had experienced violence in a dating relationship. (Levy, Barry (1991). Dating Violence: Young Women in Danger, Seattle, WA, Seal Press)
  • If violence occurs once in a dating relationship, it is likely to occur again. (id.)
  • Young people tend to interpret the violence of their partner as signifying love. (id.)
  • Adolescents, especially adolescent girls, are at a greater risk for sexual assault then any other age group. Adolescents who are sexually assaulted are at a greater risk for sexual assault as an adult. Of the women who reported being raped at some time in their lives, 22% were under 12 years old and 32% were 12 to 17 years old when they were first raped. (Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice, 1998)
  • Young people tend to interpret the violence of their partner as signifying love. (Levy, Barry (1991). Dating Violence: Young Women in Danger, Seattle, WA, Seal Press)
  • Many teens do not identify forcible sex as sexual assault. In one study over 50% of high school boys and 42% of high school girls believed that there are times when it is "acceptable for a male to hold a female down and physically force her to engage in intercourse." (National Crime Center and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Arlington, VA; 1992:1-16)

Women Are Not "Just as Violent as Men"

  • In 95% of domestic assaults, the man is the perpetrator of the violence. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. Report to the Nation on Crime and Justice. The Data. Washington, DC. Office of Justice Programs, U.S Department of Justice, October 1983)
  • Male violence against women does much more damage than female violence against men; women are more likely to be injured than men (Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles, Physical Violence in American Families, 1990)