Domestic Violence Statistics

Disproportionate Impact on Women

While anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, there is a disproportionate impact on women and girls.

  • Women are 84% of spouse abuse victims and 86% of victims abused by other intimate partners. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2008)
  • Nearly 1 in 4 women in the U. S. reports violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008)
  • Women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008)
  • At least 1 of every 3 women globally will be beaten, raped or otherwise abused during her lifetime. (United Nations Development Fund for Women, 2003)
  • On average more than 3 women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007)
  • American Indian and Alaska Native women experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007)

Domestic Violence and Health

  • Women who have experienced domestic violence are 80% more likely to have a stroke, 70% more likely to have heart disease, 60% more likely to have asthma and 70% more likely to drink heavily than women who have not experienced intimate partner violence. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008)

Impact on Pregnant and Postpartum Women

  • Homicide is the second leading cause of traumatic death for pregnant and postpartum women in the US, accounting for 31% of maternal injury deaths. (American Journal of Public Health, 2005)
  • Pregnant women are 60.6% more likely to be beaten than non-pregnant women. Violence is cited as a pregnancy complication more often than diabetes, hypertension or any other serious complication. (Midwifery Today 19, 1998)

Impact on Younger Women

  • Women of all ages are at risk for domestic and sexual violence. Those age 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007)
  • Approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. (The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus, 2008)
  • Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. (Silverman et al, 2001)

Domestic Violence and Children

  • 15.5 million U.S. children live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred. (McDonald et al, 2006)
  • In a single day in 2008, 16,458 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing facility. (The National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2009)
  • A study of low-income pre-schoolers finds that children who have been exposed to family violence suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as bed-wetting or nightmares, and are at greater risk than their peers of having allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and flu. (Graham-Bermann and Seng, 2005)
  • Children who experience childhood trauma, including witnessing incidents of domestic violence, are at a greater risk of having serious adult health problems including tobacco use, substance abuse, obesity, cancer, heart disease, depression and a higher risk for unintended pregnancy. (Anda, Block and Felitti, 2003)
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. (Strauss, Gelles, and Smith, 1990)
  • 63% of young men (ages 11 – 20) serving time for homicide killed their mother’s abuser. (March of Dimes, 1992)

Financial Impact of Domestic Violence

  • Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work – the equivalent of more than 32,000 fulltime jobs. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003)
  • 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. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003)

Domestic Incident Reports

As one indicator, here are the number of domestic incident reports (DIR’s)
filed with police departments in Westchester County:

  • 2000: 7,754
  • 2006: 10,229
  • 2008: 10,783
  • 2010: 12,971
  • 2012: 11,381

Yet, many victims never report the crime.