Domestic Violence Statistics & Facts You Need to Know

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence, involves actions to gain or maintain power and control over the other partner. Domestic violence is often under-reported and misunderstood. It involves a pattern of coercive behavior that includes abusive tactics such as threats, physical and sexual violence, economic, emotional, and psychological aggression, as well as exploiting any privilege to maintain power and control.

According to the United Nations, domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Even if physical assaults happen infrequently, they create a constant fear of future violence, enabling the abuser to control the victim’s life and circumstances.

The impacts of domestic violence are far-reaching, causing damage that can affect generations and last a lifetime. Relationship abuse is especially painful when it comes from those we love. By staying informed and educating others, we can better recognize and stop abuse when it occurs.

Let’s explore some key domestic violence statistics to understand the severity of this problem.

Domestic Violence Statistics

domestic abuse statistics

According to a new UN report, an estimated 48,800 women and girls were killed by family members or intimate partners worldwide in 2022. This averages to more than 133 women or girls being killed by a relative each day.

There are many myths about domestic violence. Some people believe it is caused by stress or substance use or that it only occurs among those with low income. This is not true. The reality is that assailants learn abusive behavior from society or in their homes.

Domestic violence is a choice made by the perpetrator to use power and abuse to control the survivor. Survivors are never to blame for the abuse; it is entirely the responsibility of the perpetrator.

      • In 2022, violent victimization in the U.S. increased to 23.5 per 1,000 people, up from 16.4 to 16.5 per 1,000 in 2020-2021. While there has been a recent increase, the past three decades have seen a significant overall decline in the rate of violent victimization, dropping from 79.8 per 1,000 people in 1993 to 23.5 per 1,000 in 2022. (1)

      • Nearly 1 in 2 U.S. women (47.3%) and more than 2 in 5 U.S. men (44.2%) have experienced intimate partner violence. Nearly three-quarters of female victims of intimate partner violence reported that they were first victimized before the age of 25, and more than one in four experienced their first victimization before the age of 18. (2)

        • 42% (52,437,000) of U.S. women and 42.3% of U.S. men (49,932,000) have faced lifetime physical violence. Physical violence covers a variety of actions, from slapping, pushing, or shoving to more serious acts such as hitting, kicking, pulling hair, slamming, beating, burning on purpose, and using a knife or a gun. (3)

          • In 2022, approximately 42% of violent victimizations were reported to the police. (4)

          • BJS Criminal Victimization data notes that in 2022, domestic violence made up 53.8% of all violent crimes, up from 48.9% in 2021. The number of cases reporting domestic violence to the police rose from 1.6 per 1,000 people in 2021 to 2.6 per 1,000 people in 2022. (1)

          • Black women are nearly three times more likely to die from domestic or intimate partner violence than White women. Despite making up only 8% of the population, Black women account for 22% of domestic violence-related homicides and 29% of all female victims. This makes domestic violence one of the leading causes of death for Black women aged 15 to 35. (6)

        Intimate Partner Violence Statistics

        intimate partner violence statistics

        Intimate partner violence (IPV) is one of the most common forms of violence against women, involving physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as controlling behaviors by an intimate partner. IPV occurs in all settings and affects people from all socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Women bear the overwhelming global burden of IPV.

        According to WHO, while women can also be violent in relationships, often in self-defense, and violence can occur in same-sex partnerships, the most common perpetrators of violence against women are male intimate partners or ex-partners. In contrast, men are more likely to experience violence from strangers or acquaintances rather than someone close to them.

            • 23.04 people per minute face intimate partner violence annually. This equates to 5,649,000 U. S. women and 6,462,000 U.S. men annually. (2)

            • According to the CDC, in the U.S., 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4.5 men aged 18 and older have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (5)

            • Intimate partner violence can lead to serious injuries and even death. According to U. S. Crime reports, approximately one in five homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner. Additionally, more than half of female homicide victims are killed by a current or former male intimate partner. (7)

            • A recent study by the Legal Services Corporation revealed that the rate of intimate partner violence for women is nearly three times higher among those in the lowest income quartile compared to those in the highest. Additionally, 88% of recent survivors of domestic violence did not receive any or enough legal help for the substantial problems they faced. (8)

            • Intimate partner violence victimizations in the U.S. increased by 51.5% in 2022 from 50.7% in 2021, as stated by BJS Criminal Victimization data. (1)

            • Intimate partner violence and sexual abuse can be especially common among transgender and non-binary individuals. In 2023, The Domestic Violence Hotlines reported that about 22.5% of trans women, 22.4% of non-binary women, and 19.2% of trans men experienced sexual abuse. These rates are higher than the average of 14.2% among LGBTQ+ survivors. (9)

            • In 2022, the National Domestic Violence Hotline experienced a record-breaking number of contacts, with over 2,000 calls, chats, and texts received daily. (10)

          domestic violence percentage

              • According to BJS Criminal Victimization records, the rate of violent victimization increased for both males and females between 2021 and 2022. From 2021 to 2022, violent victimization rates increased for all age groups, except for those aged 50 to 64, where the rate remained largely unchanged. (1)

                • According to the same BJS study, intimate partner violence is most prevalent among women aged 18-24. (1)

              Domestic Abuse Statistics

              Domestic Abuse Statistics

              Domestic violence is not just a series of isolated incidents; it is an interwoven pattern of abusive behaviors that typically escalate in frequency and intensity over time.

              The cycle of violence can repeat many times in an abusive relationship. Each stage of this cycle varies in duration, ranging from a few hours to a year or more. Throughout all three stages, emotional abuse is a constant presence, contributing to the ongoing harm and control exerted by the abuser.

                  • The NISVS findings indicate that 54.3 percent of women (67,784,000) experience contact sexual violence in their lifetime, while for men, it is 30.7 percent (36,191,000). Victimization often starts early in life and is more prevalent among racial and ethnic minorities, reflecting national patterns. (3)

                    • Each year, about 324,000 pregnant individuals in the United States are abused by their intimate partners. This violence can harm both the mother and the baby. Domestic violence is particularly common among pregnant women. (11)

                  Causes of Domestic Violence

                  domestic violence in the united states

                  The causes and contributing factors of domestic violence are complex. It’s crucial to remember that you are only responsible for your own actions. Similarly, someone who commits acts of violence or maintains a pattern of abuse is solely responsible for their choices. No one else is to blame for their harmful behavior.

                  Around 10 million people in the United States experience domestic violence every year. This is a staggering number, highlighting how widespread this issue is. Domestic violence can take many forms and varies from person to person. There is no single cause of domestic violence; it is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors.

                  Learned Behavior

                  People often learn to be violent from their surroundings. Growing up in households, communities, or societies where violence is common can lead individuals to mimic that behavior.

                  Need for Control

                  Research shows that abusers are often driven by a strong need to control others. This desire for control can lead to abusive behaviors.

                  Childhood Abuse

                  Many perpetrators were abused as children or witnessed abuse in their homes. This can lead them to believe that violence is an acceptable way to handle conflicts.

                  Risk Factors

                  According to the Psych Central, people are more likely to become abusive if they:

                      • Have a low income

                      • Have a low education level

                      • Experience economic stress, such as unemployment

                    These factors contribute to a complex and tragic cycle of abuse that affects millions of lives.

                    Stalking 

                    domestic violence rates

                    Stalking involves a repeated pattern of behavior aimed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or to experience significant emotional distress. Stalking can be terrifying and dangerous, violating privacy and affecting millions of people each year.

                        • According to research from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), nearly 1 in 3 women and about 1 in 6 men in the United States have experienced stalking at some point in their lives. (5)

                        • The survey also found that 43.4% of female victims and 32.4% of male victims were stalked by a current or former intimate partner. (5)

                        • More than half of female stalking victims reported that their first experience with stalking occurred before they turned 25, with 57.5% (or 22.3 million women) affected. Additionally, about 1 in 4 (23.6% or approximately 9.2 million women) experienced stalking for the first time before the age of 18. (5)

                          • Nearly half of male stalking victims reported that their first experience with stalking happened before they turned 25, with 48.6% (or 9.2 million men) affected. Additionally, 19.1% (or 3.6 million men) were first stalked before the age of 18. (5)

                            • In the United States, about 1 in 2 non-Hispanic multiracial women (53.7%) and more than 1 in 4 non-Hispanic multiracial men (29.9%) have been stalked at some point in their lives. (5)

                          Rape

                          u.s. rape statistics

                          Rape is a terrible crime involving forced sexual activity, often including penetration, against the victim’s will. It can happen within domestic violence situations, where one partner assaults the other, but it can also be committed by acquaintances, like in cases of date rape or by strangers. Domestic violence and rape are serious issues that disproportionately affect women.

                              • National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) data estimated approximately 1 in 4 women (26.8%) and about 1 in 26 men (3.8%) in the U.S. have experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime. (3)

                              • In the U.S., between 6.8% and 28.0% of women across 45 states first experienced completed or attempted rape before the age of 18. (3) 

                              • According to Statista, in 2022, approximately 442,754 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted, marking an increase from the previous year. During the same year, 89,053 men were also victims of rape or sexual assault, which is a significant rise compared to the year before. (12)

                            Guns and Firearms

                            domestic gun violence

                            Firearms and domestic violence create a lethal mix. Over half of all domestic homicides involve guns. Abusers often use guns not only to kill but also to intimidate and control their victims. This combination of violence and the presence of firearms significantly heightens the fear and danger for those experiencing abuse.

                                • In 2022, out of over 6.6 million violent victimizations, about 10% involved a firearm, up from 7% in 2021. Firearm victimizations occur when the offender had, showed, or used a firearm. The number of these incidents reported to the police rose from 237,980 in 2021 to 389,590 in 2022, as per the BJS report. (1)

                                • Access to firearms significantly increases the danger of domestic violence. When an abusive partner has a firearm, the risk of the survivor being killed is five times higher. (13)

                              Homicide

                              Some incidents of family and domestic violence are fatal. Intimate partner homicide is the most common type, with the majority of victims being women. Domestic homicide involves the unlawful killing of a person in the context of a family or domestic relationship, including those with a current or former intimate partner.

                                  • In the United States, intimate partners are responsible for nearly 50% of female homicides and 10% of male homicides. Intimate partner violence (IPV) also contributes to about 6% of suicides. (14)

                                  • The percentage of females murdered by an intimate partner was five times higher than for males. In 2021, of the estimated 4,970 female victims of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, 34% were killed by an intimate partner. In contrast, about 6% of the 17,970 males murdered that year were victims of intimate partner homicide. (15)

                                  • According to this study, 62% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner. Of these, 95% were females killed by their male intimate partners, and 93% of these incidents involved a gun. (16)

                                  • A study on intimate partner homicides revealed that 20% of the victims were not direct domestic violence victims but rather family members, friends, neighbors, people who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders. (17)

                                Physical & Mental Effects 

                                60 facts about health

                                Domestic violence is linked to numerous physical and mental health issues. Victims of domestic violence have an increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

                                Experiencing traumatic events can lead to stress, fear, and isolation, which may result in depression and suicidal ideation. Survivors of domestic violence are more likely to face health problems and often perceive their overall health as poor compared to those who have not experienced such violence.

                                    • About 75% of female survivors suffer some form of injury due to domestic violence. Besides injuries, common physical symptoms include headaches, insomnia, chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, and pain in the chest, back, and pelvis. (18)

                                    • Victim service providers (VSPs) are public or private organizations that help crime victims. In 2022, victims received assistance from VSPs in 9% of violent victimization. (1)

                                  Teen and Young Adult

                                  abusive statistics

                                  Children exposed to family violence often experience physical abuse and are at a higher risk of suffering long-term psychological effects.

                                  During adolescence, many young people enter their first romantic relationships. Unfortunately, some of these relationships involve teen dating violence, with adolescents experiencing abuse as either a perpetrator, a victim, or sometimes both. According to national statistics, many adolescents experience digital dating abuse, which can include violence and stalking through online platforms.

                                  This abuse can significantly impact various aspects of a young person’s life, leading to long-term consequences that extend beyond the relationship and into adulthood.

                                      • The latest statistics from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicate that 8.5% of high school students who had dated in the past year experienced physical teen dating violence (TDV). (19)

                                      • Additionally, other sources report that approximately 9.4% of high school students have been hit, slapped, or physically hurt intentionally by their partner in the previous 12 months. (20)

                                      • 43% of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors, including physical, sexual, technological, verbal, or controlling abuse. Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) college women say they have been in an abusive dating relationship. (21)

                                        • 52% of college women report knowing a friend who has experienced violent and abusive dating behaviors, including physical, sexual, technological, verbal, or controlling abuse. (21)

                                        • Thirty-six percent of college students admit to sharing their computer, email, or social media passwords with their dating partners, making them more likely to experience digital dating abuse. (21)

                                        • 1 in 5 college women have been verbally abused by a dating partner. (21)

                                      domestic violence rate

                                      Economic Effects

                                      For many women around the world, their own homes are the most dangerous place they can be. Any form of abuse is fundamentally wrong and a violation of basic human rights. Research from the IMF shows that violence against women and girls significantly hinders economic development.

                                      violence against women statistics

                                      Women from abusive homes often work fewer hours and are less productive when they do work. In the long term, high levels of domestic violence can reduce the number of women in the workforce, limit their opportunities for education and skill acquisition, and result in less public investment as more resources are diverted to health and judicial services.

                                          • Domestic violence costs the U.S. economy over $9.3 billion annually in healthcare, mental health, and productivity. (22)

                                          • Survivors of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8 million days of paid work each year. To address this, many states have implemented domestic violence leave laws. (23)

                                          • Emergency housing and shelters for domestic violence victims cost an estimated $7.9 billion annually. Domestic violence leads to $1.8 billion in lost economic productivity annually from absenteeism and reduced work performance. (24)

                                        Domestic Violence and Homelessness

                                        When someone leaves an abusive relationship, they often have nowhere to go. Many face a heartbreaking choice between staying in an abusive environment, going to a shelter, or living on the street. Studies reveal a strong connection between domestic violence and homelessness, especially among families with children.

                                        In fact, domestic violence is often the leading cause of homelessness for women with children. Shelters offer immediate safety, respite, and supportive services, but they are frequently at full capacity and unable to accommodate all those in need.

                                        Final Thought

                                        Domestic violence remains a critical issue affecting individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Intimate partner violence accounts for a significant portion of reported cases, with both male and female victims suffering from physical and psychological abuse. Alarmingly, child abuse and sexual assault are also prevalent, with many child abuse victims experiencing long-term effects.

                                        Bisexual women, in particular, face high rates of sexual abuse and stalking by an intimate partner. Despite the gravity of these issues, many victims do not report experiencing domestic violence, making it essential to identify dating abuse early and support those in need.

                                        To end domestic violence, we must increase awareness and provide resources such as domestic violence shelters and hotlines. Report domestic violence because it is crucial, as is offering support to family members and friends who may be in a domestic violence situation. By understanding the full scope of the problem and providing comprehensive support, we can work towards a safer future for everyone, including those who have been physically abused or suffered from rape and physical violence. 

                                        References

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