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Data About Domestic Violence

On this page you will find extensive data about the incidence of domestic and sexual violence and stalking and the effect such violence has on children and adults. To view the data for each topic, click the “˅” symbol to expand the content. For additional information, contact Alternatives to Domestic Violence.

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Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • In 2005, 389,100 women and 78,180 men were victimized by an intimate partner. These crimes accounted for 9 percent of all violent crime.
  • Of female murder victims, 33.4% were killed by their husbands or boyfriends; 2.4% of male murder victims were killed by their wives or girlfriends.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • One study found that women who have experienced any type of personal violence (even when the last episode was from 14 to 30 years ago) reported a greater number of chronic physical symptoms than those who have not been abused. The risk of suffering from six or more chronic physical symptoms increased with the number of forms of violence experienced.
  • The majority (73%) of family violence victims are female. Females were 84% of spousal abuse victims and 86% of abuse victims at the hands of a boyfriend.
  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.6 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • A recent study found that in states with laws restraining abusers from possessing firearms, intimate partner homicide rates decreased by 9-12%. These laws were most effective when states cross-checked restraining orders with firearm purchases.
  • Of female murder victims in 2005, 33.4% were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. In contrast, 2.4% of male victims were murdered by their wives or girlfriends.

Child Victimization

  • In 2004, 872,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect. 1,490 died and more than 4/5 (81%) of children who were killed were younger than 4 years of age.
  • 52% of child abuse or neglect victims were girls and 48% were boys.
  • 1/2 (53.8%) of all victims were white, one quarter (25.2%) were African American, and 17% were Hispanic. African American children, Pacific Islander children and American Indian or Alaska Native children had the highest rates of victimization.
  • Mothers were the sole abuser in 39% of substantiated cases, fathers in 18%. Both parents were perpetrators of child maltreatment in 18% of the cases. Child victims maltreated by one parent and a non-parental perpetrator accounted for 10% of the total.
  • 26 children were killed by their babysitter in 2005.
  • 5% of child molesters released from prison commit a new sex offense within three years of their release.
  • The most significant predictor of whether a battered woman will physically abuse her child is having been physically abused by her own mother, not being battered by her partner.

Teen Victimization

  • In 2005, teenagers experienced 1.5 million violent crimes; this included 176,020 robberies and 73,470 sexual assaults and rapes.
  • Among youth ages 17 or younger, black youth were five times as likely as white youth to be victims of homicide.
  • School was the most common place for violent victimizations against teens to occur. A higher percentage of violent crimes against younger teens than against older teens occurred at or in school (53% versus 32%). Older teens (17%) were somewhat more likely than younger teens (15%) to be victimized at home.
  • Among older teens, the percentage of violent crime involving an intimate partner was 10 times higher for females than males (9% versus 0.6%). For younger teens, the percentage of females was not statistically different from that of males.
  • Approximately one in sevem youths (13%) received unwanted sexual solicitations online.
  • 4% of youth Internet users have been exposed to distressing sexual material while online.
  • One in 11, or 9% of youth Internet users said they have been harassed online.
  • Almost 40% of American adolescents have witnessed violence. Furthermore, 17% have been victims of physical assault; 9% have been victims of physically abusive punishment; and 8% have been victims of sexual assault.
  • Three in four American adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well. 13% of sexual assaults were reported to police, 6 percent to child protective services, 5% to school authorities and 1.3% to other authorities. 86% of sexual assaults against adolescents went unreported.

Elder Victimization

  • The most recent survey of Adult Protective Services (APS) found that 191,908 reports of elder abuse and neglect were substantiated in 2004.
  • 20% of elder maltreatment substantiated by APS involved caregiver neglect; 15% involved emotional, psychological or verbal abuse; 15% involved financial exploitation; 11% involved physical abuse and 1 percent involved sexual abuse.
  • In 2004, domestic settings were the most common locations of abuse in substantiated reports.
  • In 2004, more than half of alleged perpetrators of elder abuse were women.
  • The largest number of alleged perpetrators was between 30 and 50 years of age.
  • The majority of elder maltreatment victims were Caucasian (77.1%), followed by African American (21.2%), American Indian/Alaska native (0.6%), Asian (0.5%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.2%) and “Other” (0.2%).

Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Impact on Employers:

  • Employers lose between $3 and $5 billion each year for increased medical costs associated with battered workers (Bureau of National Affairs, 1990).
  • Businesses lose an additional $100 million in lost wages, sick leave and absenteeism (Domestic Violence for Health Care Provider, 3rd Edition).
  • Almost 2 million workdays are lost each year due to domestic violence.
  • Domestic Violence in the United States costs an estimated $67 billion annually.
  • 78% of Human Resource Directors identify domestic violence as a substantial employee problem.
  • 49% of senior executives said that domestic violence has a harmful effect on their company’s productivity.
  • 47% admit partner violence negatively impacts employee attendance.
  • A survey of EAP (Employee Assistance Program) providers found that a large majority of them dealt with specific partner abuse situations in the past year, including: employees with restraining orders (83%), and employees being stalked at work by a current/former partner (71%).

Victims of Domestic Violence who work:

  • 96% experience problems at work due to abuse.
  • 74% are harassed while at work by their abuser.
  • 56% arrive one hour late for work five times per month.28% leave work early at least five days a month.
  • 54% miss at least three full days of work each month.
  • Homicide is the leading cause of death to women in the workplace; 20% of those murdered by their partner was done at the workplace.
  • There were an estimated 13,000 acts of violence against women at work each year by their partners (Westchester County Business Journal, Vol. 35).
  • 37% of women involved in partner violence have felt its effects on the workplace reflected in:
    • Lateness
    • Missed work
    • Difficulty keeping a job
    • Difficulty advancing their careers

(Results by EDK National Telephone Poll, September 1997)

ADV has skilled and knowledgeable speakers on the subject of domestic violence in the workplace. If you would like to have someone come to your location and train your company executives, HR personnel, supervisors and/or managers on the various aspects of violence in the workplace, select the community education link for more information.

Domestic Violence Statistics provided from The Public Policy Office of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crimes, “2008 Crime Victimization in the United States Statistical Overviews.”

Same-Sex Domestic Violence

  • In 2006, lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgender people (LGBT) experienced 3,534 incidents of domestic violence. Four of these incidents resulted in murder.
  • In 2003, 44% of these victims were men, 36% women and 2% transgender. Gender identity was not recorded for 9 percent of the victims.
  • In cases where the age of the victim was recorded, 58% were over the age of 30, while 42% of the victims of LGBT domestic violence were under 30.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

  • California law enforcement received 176,299 domestic violence related calls in 2006.  80,946 of the calls involved weapons, including firearms and knives.
  • 43,911 people were arrested for domestic violence offenses in 2006. Of the 43,911 offenders, 80% were men and 20% were women.
  • 134 homicides resulted from intimate partner violence in 2006.  110 of the victims were women and 24 were men.
  • 9,345 forcible rapes were reported in California in 2005. Completed rape accounted for 87% of the offences and attempted rape accounted for 13%.
  • One in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.
  • In California one forcible rape occurs every 56 minutes.
  • In 2005, victims age 12 or older experienced 191,670 rapes/sexual assaults.
  • 92% of rape or sexual assault victims in 2005 were female.
  • Of female rape or sexual assault victims, 73% were assaulted by someone they knew and 26% were assaulted by a stranger. 38% of women assaulted by a known offender were friends or acquaintances of the rapist and 28% were intimate partners.
  • People aged 16 to 19 had a higher rate of sexual victimization than any other age group.
  • Divorced or separated people had a higher rate of sexual victimization than those who were married.
  • In 2005, more than a third (36%) of all sexual assaults occurred at or in a victim’s home.
  • Characteristics associated with a positive legal outcome in sexual assault cases include being examined within 24 hours of the assault, having been assaulted by a partner or spouse, having been orally assaulted and having anogenital trauma.
  • Between 1996 and 2000, there was one statutory rape for every three forcible rapes involving a juvenile victim reported to law enforcement. Three of every 10 statutory rape offenders were boyfriends or girlfriends, and six in 10 were acquaintances.
  • Between 1992 and 2000, all rapes, 39% of attempted rapes and 17% of sexual assaults against females resulted in injuries.  Most victims did not receive treatment for their injuries.
  • During 2005, military criminal investigators received 2,374 allegations of sexual assault involving members of the armed forces worldwide.

Stalking

  • More than 1 million women and almost 400,000 men are stalked annually in the United States.
  • 81% of women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabiting partner were also physically assaulted and 31% were also sexually assaulted by that partner.
  • The average duration of stalking is 1.3 years.
  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week.
  • 78% of stalkers use more than one means of contacting the victim.
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten stalking victims in one out of five cases.
  • 14% of stalkers are psychotic at the time of stalking.
  • One-third of stalkers are repeat stalkers.
  • More than 50 percent of stalkers have had a previous relationship with the victim (commonly referred to as intimate partner stalking).
  • Intimate partner stalkers use more insults, interfering, threats and violence, including with weapons, than other types of stalkers.
  • Stalking is one of the significant risk factors for femicide (homicide of women) in abusive relationships.
  • One study found that serious violence in stalking was significantly associated with former sexual intimacy, previously appearing at the victim’s home, the absence of a criminal record and a shorter duration of stalking.
  • A survey of university undergraduates revealed that 20% had been stalked or harassed by a former dating partner; 8% had initiated stalking or harassment and 1% had been both the target and the initiator.
  • A recent study identified threats, partner jealousy and former partner drug abuse as factors that were predictive of stalking violence.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons for the purpose of exploitation.

It is done by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion; abduction; fraud; deception; the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability; or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control over another person. Exploitation includes, at a minimum, sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

Due to the “hidden” nature of trafficking activities, gathering statistics on the magnitude of the problem is complex and difficult. Given these complexities, the following statistics are the most accurate available, but may represent an underestimation of trafficking on a global and national scale.

  • An estimated 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders each year. The majority of transnational victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. These numbers do not, however, include the millions of victims around the world who are trafficked within their own national borders.
  • Of the roughly 800,000 people trafficked across international borders each year, 80% are female and 50% are children.
  • Human trafficking is the third most profitable criminal activity, following only drug and arms trafficking. An estimated $9.5 billion is generated in annual revenue from all trafficking activities, with at least $4 billion attributed to the worldwide brothel industry.

School Crime and Victimization

  • In 2004, students aged 12 to 18 were victims of 107,400 serious violent crimes at school.
  • In the 2004-2005 school year, there were a total of 48 student, staff and non-student school-associated violent deaths.
  • Younger students (aged 12-14) were more likely than older students (aged 15-18) to be victims of crime at school.
  • In 2005, 28% of all school-age children reported being bullied at school, an increase over the 7% reported in 2003. Also in 2005, 29% of rural and suburban students reported being bullied, versus 26% of urban students.
  • In 2003, teachers were the victims of approximately 183,400 total nonfatal crimes at school, including 118,800 thefts and 64,600 violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault).
  • In 2005, 24% of students aged 12-18 reported that street gangs were present at their schools. Students in urban schools were the most likely to report the presence of street gangs at their schools (36%), followed by suburban students (21%) and rural students (16%).
  • In 2005, 4% of students in grades 9 through 12 had at least one drink of alcohol and 5% reported using marijuana on school property during the previous 30 days.
  • In 2005, 19% of students in grades 9 through 12 had carried a weapon on one or more of the 30 days preceding the survey, including about 5% of students who had carried a gun.
  • Nationwide, 8% of students had attempted suicide one or more times during the previous 12 months.
  • In 2005, only 55% of high-school students felt safe at school.
  • African-American students (41%) were far less likely than white students (60 percent) to feel safe at school.
  • Fewer than half (41%) of special education students agreed that they feel safe at school.
  • From January 1990 to February 2002, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recorded 1,055 incidents of bombs being placed on school premises. Of these incidents, only 14 were accompanied by a warning to the school or other authorities.

Violence and Stalking on College Campuses

Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are serious problems on campuses, as they are across the nation.

Unlike their counterparts in the larger community, students victimized by other students often face additional challenges in a “closed” campus environment. For example, a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking may continue to live in danger if the perpetrator resides in the same dormitory or attends the same classes.

On smaller campuses, a victim may wish to remain anonymous but may find this to be virtually impossible in such an insular environment. Similarly, stalking victims may find it difficult to escape their tormentors, because the stalker may have a seemingly “legitimate” reason for remaining in contact with or in proximity to the victim (e.g., studying in the library).

The fear and anguish suffered by rape victims may continue if they attend the same classes or live in the same dormitory as the perpetrator. In other cases, a victim may be harassed by classmates or by a perpetrator’s friends who claim the victim “asked for it” or “provoked” the crime. Even changing class schedules or living arrangements may not eliminate the threat of encountering the perpetrator on campus.

Survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking from diverse communities frequently confront additional challenges when seeking assistance.

Victims with disabilities may struggle with obstacles, such as shelters that cannot physically accommodate them. International students, or the spouses or partners of international students, may face linguistic or cultural barriers to obtaining services. Likewise, victims from racial, ethnic or religious minority groups may fear discrimination when they attempt to obtain services.

Campus Crime

  • In 2001, more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 were victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. More than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 were assaulted by another student who had been drinking.
  • Victims of rape/sexual assault were about four times more likely to be victimized by someone they knew rather than by a stranger.
  • White college students had somewhat higher rates of violent victimization than black students and higher rates than students of other races.
  • 13% of college women were stalked at some point between the fall of 1996 and the spring of 1997. Four in five campus-stalking victims knew their stalkers, and three in 10 college women reported being injured emotionally or psychologically from being stalked.
  • In 2003, crimes occurring in on-campus residence halls included 955 assaults, 1,808 forcible sex offenses and 24 non-forcible sex offenses.
  • Most crimes against students (93%) occurred off campus, 72 percent of those crimes were at night.
  • Hate and bias crimes reported on school and college campuses made up almost 14% of all hate and bias crimes reported throughout the United States in 2005.

Mental Health

  • Crime victims have a much higher lifetime incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Almost 27% of women and 12% of men who were molested developed PTSD later in life.
  • Women who experienced a homicide of a family member or close friend had higher levels of PTSD than non-homicide survivors; 22% experienced lifetime PTSD and 8.9% currently had PTSD.
  • Of crime victims diagnosed with PTSD, 37% also suffer from depression.
  • The most comprehensive co-morbidity study to date showed that lifetime prevalence of other psychological disorders in male and female crime victims with PTSD was 88.3% and 79%, respectively. The most common co-morbid disorders were depression, substance abuse and phobia.
  • The estimated risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder is 49% for survivors of rape, 32% for survivors of severe beating or physical assault, 24% for survivors of other sexual assault, 5% for survivors of a shooting or stabbing and 7% for those who witness a murder or an assault.
  • Major depressive disorder affects an estimated one-third of all rape victims, often for an extended period of time. One-Third of women who are raped contemplate suicide and 17 percents attempt suicide.
  • Intimate partner victimization against American women ages 18 and older results in more than 18.5 million mental healthcare visits each year.
  • Physical and mental health effects of stalking are not gender-related. Both male and female victims experience impaired health, depression and injury and are more likely to engage in substance abuse than their non-stalked peers.
  • About one-third (30%) of female stalking victims and one-fifth (20%) male stalking victims sought psychological counseling as a result of their stalking victimization.
  • Roughly one-third of mental healthcare bills for rape, physical assault and stalking victims were paid for out-of-pocket.

Substance Abuse and Crime

  • Victims of rape are 13 times more likely to develop two or more alcohol-related problems and 26 times more likely to have two or more serious drug abuse-related problems than non-crime victims.
  • About one in five victims of violence who perceived the offender to have been using alcohol at the time of the offense (approximately 400,000 victims per year) suffered a financial loss attributable to medical expenses, broken or stolen property or lost wages – totaling an annual loss of $400 million.
  • In 2006, 8% of eighth graders, 17% of 10th graders, and 22% of 12th graders reported illicit drug use in the past 30 days.
  • According to the results of a 2005 national survey of students in grades 9 through 12, 8% of students had used a form of cocaine one or more times during their lifetime and 3% of students had used a form of cocaine one or more times in the 30 days preceding the survey.
  • The same study found that 2% of students had used heroin, 6 percent had used methamphetamines and 6 percent had used ecstasy one or more times in their lifetime.
  • Nationwide, 12% of students had sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray cans or inhaled paints or sprays to get high one or more times during their lifetime.
  • A recent study found that girls who have been sexually or physically abused are twice as likely to use drugs (30% versus 13%), smoke (26% versus 10%) or drink (22% versus 12%) than girls who have not been abused.
  • Nearly half (47%) of all jail inmates convicted of violent offenses were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of the offense.
  • In 2002, 42% of homicide offenders, 40% of assault offenders, 38% of robbery offenders and 37% of sexual assault offenders were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offense.
  • In 2002, 22% of inmates convicted of violent offenses were under the influence of drugs at the time of the offense – 40% of robbery offenders, 20% of homicide offenders, 18% of assault offenders and 14% of sexual assault offenders.
  • Between 1992 and 2001, 62% of American Indian victims of non-domestic violent crimes reported the offender was under the influence of alcohol. Among victims of domestic violence, about 60% also reported that the perpetrator was drinking at the time of the incident.

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