Domestic Violence Facts
Domestic violence is both a national and a worldwide crisis. According to a 1100 UNICEF study, 20-50% of the female population of the world will become the victims of domestic violence.
Within the United States, one out of every four American women will experience violence by an intimate partner sometime during her lifetime. One out of every six women will be raped during her lifetime.
“A Crime Against Women”
Although men are more likely to be victims of violent crime overall, a recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice reports that “intimate partner violence is primarily a crime against women.
Of those victimized by an intimate partner, 85% are women and 15% are men. In other words, women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.
The vast majority of domestic assaults are committed by men. Even when men are victimized, 10% are assaulted by another man. In contrast, only 2% of women who are victimized are assaulted by another woman.
Women age 16 to 24 are most likely to be victimized by an intimate partner
African-American women experience more domestic violence than White women in the age group of 20-24. However, Black and White women experience the same level of victimization in all other age categories.
Hispanic women are less likely to be victimized than non-Hispanic women in every age group.
Women are most vulnerable to violence when separated from their intimate partner. The second most vulnerable group are those who are divorced. This can discourage women from leaving their abusive partner, out of fear that it will increase their risk of victimization.
Approximately 40-50% of female victims are physically injured when assaulted by their intimate partner,2, 4 accounting for over 110,000 visits to the hospital emergency room each year.
Only about 1 in 5 of domestic violence victims with physical injuries seek professional medical treatment.
Women are far more likely than men to be murdered by an intimate partner. Of those murdered by their intimate partner, 74% are women and 26% are men. In other words, nearly 3 out of 4 of the murders committed by intimate partners have a female victim.
The FBI reports that between 1976 and 1996, domestic violence claims the lives of more than four women each day.
Between 1976 and 1996, there was a “sharp decrease” in the number of men murdered by intimate partners, whereas the number of women murdered by an intimate partner remained constant. Some have attributed this to the increasing availability of shelters which provide battered women with options other than killing an abusive partner. It is possible that some women who might have otherwise killed their abuser are able to leave and go to a shelter.
Under-reporting of Domestic Violence to Police
Only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police. African-American women are more likely than others to report their victimization to police.
The most common reasons for not reporting domestic violence to police are that victims view the incident as a personal or private matter, they fear retaliation from their abuser, and they do not believe that police will do anything about the incident.
Even with this dramatic under-reporting, domestic violence calls constitute approximately half of all violent crime calls to police departments. For example, 49% of the violent crime calls received by the DC Metropolitan Police Department in 1100 were for domestic violence incidents.
On average, only 70% of non-fatal partner violence is reported to law enforcement.
Of those not reporting, almost half of men, and a quarter of female victims considered their victimization a “PRIVATE ” matter.
30% of Domestic violence starts in pregnancy. Domestic abuse is the number 1 cause of miscarriage, and still birth.