Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together o who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
The term “intimate partner violence” includes the following acts as inflicted or caused by a current or former intimate partner:
- Actual or threats of physical violence
- Actual or threats of sexual violence
- Emotional or psychological abuse (e.g., name calling or putdowns, threats to “out” a person’s sexual orientation to family, work or friends)
- Stalking (e.g., excessive calls/texts/emails, monitoring daily activities, using technology to track a person’s location)
- Financial abuse (e.g., withholding money, ruining credit, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job)
- Threats to “out” a person’s sexual orientation to family, work or friends
Intimate partners can include:
- Current or former spouses
- Boyfriends or girlfriends
- Dating partners
- Sexual partners
Domestic violence can occur in heterosexual and same-sex relationships.
Statistics and Facts
National Domestic Violence Statistics
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2017)
- 1 in 10 women in the United States will be raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
- Approximately 16.9% of women and 8.0% of men will experience sexual violence other than rape by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
- Data on sexual violence against men may be underreported.
- Approximately 16.9% of women and 8.0% of men will experience sexual violence other than rape by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
- An estimated 9.7% of women and 2.3% of men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime. (CDC, 2017)
- Nearly half of all women and men in the United States will experience psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2017)
- Over half of female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age. (CDC, 2010)
Domestic Violence Experienced by Race/Ethnicity
- Almost half (47.5%) of American Indian/Alaska Native women, 45.1% of non-Hispanic Black women, 37.3% of non-Hispanic White women, 34.4% of Hispanic women, and 18.3% of Asian-Pacific Islander women experience contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2017)
Domestic Violence and Sexual Orientation
- 2 in 5 lesbian women, 3 in 5 bisexual women, and 1 in 3 heterosexual women will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
- 1 in 4 gay men, 1 in 3 bisexual men, and 3 in 10 heterosexual men will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
Domestic Violence in New York City
- Intimate partner homicide accounts for over half of all NYC family-related homicides. (NYC DV Fatality Review Committee, 2016)
- The New York City Police Department responds to approximately 230,000 domestic incidents each year. (NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
The Relationship Spectrum
All relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive with unhealthy somewhere in the middle.
Check out the Relationship Spectrum below to see where your relationship falls.
A healthy relationship means that both you and your partner(s) are:
- Communicating: You talk openly about problems and listen to one another. You respect each other’s opinions.
- Respectful: You value each other as you are.
- Trusting: You believe what your partner has to say. You do not feel the need to “prove” each other’s trustworthiness.
- Honest: You are honest with each other, but can still keep some things private.
- Equal: You make decisions together and hold each other to the same standard.
- Enjoying personal time: You enjoy spending time apart, alone or with others. You respect each other’s need for time apart.
- Making mutual sexual choices: You talk openly about sexual and reproductive choices together. All partners willingly consent to sexual activity and can safely discuss what you are and are not comfortable with.
- Economic/financial partners: You and your partner have equal say with regard to finances. All partners have access to the resources they need.
- Engaging in supportive parenting: All partners are able to parent in a way they feel comfortable with. You communicate together about the needs of the child(ren), as well as the needs of the parents.
You may be in an unhealthy relationship if one or more partners is:
- Not communicating: When problems arise, you fight or you don’t discuss them at all.
- Disrespectful: One or more partners is not considerate of the other(s).
- Not trusting: One partner doesn’t believe what the other says, or feels entitled to invade their privacy.
- Dishonest: One or more partners tells lies.
- Trying to take control: One partner feels their desires and choices are more important.
- Only spending time with your partner: Your partner’s community is the only one you socialize in.
- Pressured by the other into sexual activity: One partner uses pressure or guilt on the other to have sex or do anything sexual at any point.
- Ignoring a partner’s boundaries: It is assumed only one partner is responsible for making informed decisions.
- Unequal economically: Finances are not discussed, and/or it is assumed only one partner is in charge of finances.
Abuse is occurring in a relationship when one partner:
- Communicates in a way that is hurtful, threatening, insulting or demeaning.
- Mistreats the other: One partner does not respect the feelings, thoughts, decisions, opinions or physical safety of the other.
- Accuses the other of cheating or having an affair when it’s not true: The partner who accuses may hurt the other in a physical or verbal way as a result.
- Denies that the abusive actions are abuse: An abusive partner may try to blame the other for the harm they’re doing, or makes excuses for abusive actions or minimizes the abusive behavior.
- Controls the other: There is no equality in the relationship. One partner makes all decisions for the couple without the other’s input.
- Isolates the other partner: One partner controls where the other one goes and who they talk to. They may isolate their partner from family and friends.
- Forces sexual activity or pregnancy: One partner forces the other to have sex, or do anything they don’t want to do sexually at any point. In relationships where pregnancy is a physical possibility, one partner may force the other to become pregnant.
- Exerts economic control: One partner controls the money and access to resources. Having an open dialogue about finances is not an option. This may include preventing a partner from earning an income or not allowing a partner access to their own income.
- Engages in manipulative parenting: One partner uses the child(ren) to gain power and control over the other partner, including telling the child(ren) lies or negative things about the other partner.
Most Abuse Shelters have highly-trained advocates that are available 24/7/365 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information.
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Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you’re afraid your internet/computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer or call a shelter.
Get the Facts & Figures
The statistics on this page have been compiled from various sources.
- On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.
- Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their< functioning.
- Nearly, 15% of women (14.8%) and 4% of men have been injured as a result of IPV that included rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- IPV alone affects more than 12 million people each year.
- More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).
- Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
- From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.
- Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49.
- Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) have been raped in their lifetime (by any perpetrator).
- Nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States (9.4%) have been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime.
- 81% of women who experienced rape, stalking, or physical violence by an intimate partner reported significant short- or long-term impacts such as post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and injury.
- 35% of men report such impacts of their experiences.
- More than half (51.1%) of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.
- For male victims, more than half (52.4%) reported being raped by an acquaintance, and 15.1% by a stranger.
- An estimated 13% of women and 6% of men have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime (i.e. unwanted sexual penetration after being pressured in a nonphysical way). 27.2% of women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact (by any perpetrator).
- One in 6 women (16.2%) and 1 in 19 men (5.2%) in the United States have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed (by any perpetrator).
- Two-thirds (66.2%) of female victims of stalking were stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
- Men were primarily stalked by an intimate partner or acquaintance (41.4% and 40%, respectively).
- Repeatedly receiving unwanted telephone calls, voice, or text messages was the most commonly experienced stalking tactic for both female and male victims of stalking (78.8% for women and 75.9% for men).
- An estimated 10.7% of women and 2.1% of men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
- A child witnessed violence in 22% (nearly 1 in 4) of intimate partner violence cases filed in state courts.
- 30 to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.
- There is a common link between domestic violence and child abuse. Among victims of child abuse, 40% report domestic violence in the home (from a WORLD REPORT).
- One study in North America found that children who were exposed to violence in the home were 15 times more likely to be physically and/or sexually assaulted than the national average.
- The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect suggests that domestic violence may be the single major precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in this country.
- In a nationwide survey, 9.4% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to the survey.
- About 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.
- More than a quarter of male victims of completed rape (28%) were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger (by any perpetrator).
- About 35% of women who were raped as minors also were raped as adults compared to 14% of women without an early rape history.
- Most female victims of completed rape (79.6%) experienced their first rape before the age of 25; 42.2% experienced their first completed rape before the age of 18 years.
- One in 10 high school students has experienced physical violence from a dating partner in the past year.
- Most female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner (69% of female victims, 53% of male victims) experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age.
- 43% of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, tech, verbal or controlling abuse.
- Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) college women say they have been in an abusive dating relationship.
- 52% of college women report knowing a friend who has experienced violent and abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, tech, verbal or controlling abuse.
- More than half (57%) of college students who report experiencing dating violence and abuse said it occurred in college.
- 58% of college students say they don’t know what to do to help someone who is a victim of dating abuse.
- 38% of college students say they don’t know how to get help for themselves if they were a victim of dating abuse.
- More than half of all college students (57%) say it is difficult to identify dating abuse.
- 1 in 3 (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, email, or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.
- 1 in 5 college women has been verbally abused by a dating partner.
- 1 in 6 (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.
- 1 in 4 dating teens is abused or harassed online or through texts by their partners.
- Victims of digital abuse and harassment are 2 times as likely to be physically abused, 2.5 times as likely to be psychologically abused, and 5 times as likely to be sexually coerced.
- Nearly 1 in 10 teens in relationships report to having a partner tamper with their social networking account (the most frequent form of harassment or abuse).
- Only 1 in 5 victims say they experienced digital abuse or harassment at school and during school hours (most takes place away from school grounds).
- About 84% of victims are psychologically abused by their partners, half are physically abused, and one-third experiences sexual coercion.
- Only 4% experience digital abuse and harassment alone. So social media, texts, and e-mails don’t seem to invite new abuse, they just provide abusive partners with a new tool.
IN THE WORKPLACE
- Nearly 33% of women killed in U.S. workplaces between 2003-2008 were killed by a current or former intimate partner.
- Nearly one in four large private industry establishments reported at least one incidence of domestic violence, including threats and assaults, in 2005.
- A survey of American employees found that 44% of full-time employed adults personally experienced domestic violence’s effect in their workplaces, and 21% identified themselves as victims of intimate partner violence.
- 64% of the respondents in a 2005 survey who identified themselves as victims of domestic violence indicated that their ability to work was affected by the violence. More than half of domestic violence victims (57%) said they were distracted, almost half (45%) feared getting discovered, and two in five were afraid of their intimate partner’s unexpected visit (either by phone or in person).
- Nearly two in three corporate executives (63%) say that domestic violence is a major problem in our society and more than half (55%) cite its harmful impact on productivity in their companies.
- Nine in ten employees (91%) say that domestic violence has a negative impact on their company’s bottom line. Just 43% of corporate executives agree. Seven in ten corporate executives (71%) do not perceive domestic violence as a major issue at their company.
- More than 70% of United States workplaces do not have a formal program or policy that addresses workplace violence.
- Nearly 8 million days of paid work each year is lost due to domestic violence issues – the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs.
- 96% of domestic violence victims who are employed experience problems at work due to abuse.