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Relevant Facts About Domestic Abuse and Violence

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994 yet the cycle of violence alarmingly continues to grow—trapping, damaging, and destroying lives. According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, 25% of adult women in the U.S. report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) at some point in their lives.

Approximately 11.5 million children in the U.S. live in family homes where partner violence occurred at least once in the preceding year. Out of this number, seven million live in homes where severe abuse takes place.

This silent epidemic affects women, children, and even men. It is an issue that is prevalent in both heterosexual and homosexual communities. The Power of Shoes believes that we should all start adopting a simple view: “Don’t take it. Don’t suffer in silence.”


  • 1 One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • 2 An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 3 Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  • 4 Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
  • 5 In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
  • 6 Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.
  • 7 Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of battering relationships.
  • 8 Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes
  • 9 44% of women murdered by an intimate partner visited an emergency room in the two years prior to their deaths.
  • 10 In 2008, a 24-hour survey of domestic violence programs across the nation found that over 60,000 victims were served in one day. Unfortunately, due to lack of resources, there were almost 9,000 unmet requests for services.
  • 11 In 2008, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received 236,907 calls, but over 29,000 of those calls went unanswered due to lack of resources.
  • 12 As communities continue to experience job loss and decreased community resources, 87% of programs reported a rise in demand for services, while at the same time 84% of programs reported a decrease in funding.
  • 13 39% of cities cited domestic violence as the primary cause of family homelessness.
  • 14 The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 3.4 million persons said they were victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006.
  • 15 Women of all ages are at risk for domestic and sexual violence, and those ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence. (12)
  • 16 There have been over 2,000,000 calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline since its inception in 1996.


  • 1 Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey (2000).
  • 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA. Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. (2003).
  • 3 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Criminal Victimization, 2005 (2006).
  • 4 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports. Crime in the United States, 2000 (2001).
  • 5 Campbell, et al. (2003). “Assessing Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicide.” Intimate Partner Homicide, NIJ Journal, 250, 14-19. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
  • 6 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Criminal Victimization (2003).
  • 7 The Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care. Predicting Future Injury Among Women in Abusive Relationships (2004).
  • 8 The National Network to End Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence count 2007- A 24-Hour census of domestic violence shelters and services across the United States (January 2008).
  • 9 The National Network to End Domestic Violence. 2010 Missouri Domestic Violence Counts – A 24-Hour census of domestic violence shelters and services across the United States (January 2011).
  • 10 U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2007
  • 11 Baum, Katrina, Catalano, Shannan, Rand, Michael and Rose, Kristina. 2009. Stalking Victimization in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  • 12 Catalano, Shannan. 2007. Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  • 13 National Domestic Violence Hotline 2008 Annual Report.

Domestic Violence Homicides

On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)

Most intimate partner homicides occur between spouses, though boyfriends/girlfriends have committed about the same number of homicides in recent years. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)

The health-related costs of intimate partner violence exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of that amount, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health care services, and nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States, April 2003.)

About half of all female victims of intimate violence report an injury of some type, and about 20 percent of them seek medical assistance. (National Crime Victimization Survey, 1992-96; Study of Injured Victims of Violence, 1994)

Thirty-seven percent of women who sought treatment in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries in 1994 were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments, 1997)

Dating Violence

Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. (Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; and Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, No. 5, 2001)

Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. (Children Now/Kaiser Permanente Poll, December 1995)

One in five teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner. 14% of teens report their boyfriend or girlfriend threatened to harm them or themselves to avoid a breakup. Many studies indicate that as a dating relationship becomes more serious, the potential for and nature of violent behavior also escalates. (Information Provided by the Oregon Law Center)

Date rape accounts for almost 70% of sexual assaults reported by adolescent and college-aged women; 38% of those women are between 14 and 17 years old. (Information Provided by the Oregon Law Center)

Domestic Violence and Children

In a national survey of American families, 50% of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children. (Strauss, Murray A, Gelles, Richard J., and Smith, Christine. 1990. Physical Violence in American Families; Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers)

On average between 1993 and 2004, children under age 12 were residents of households experiencing intimate partner violence in 43% of incidents involving female victims and 25% of incidents involving male victims. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)

Studies suggest that between 3.3-10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually(Carlson, Bonnie E. (1984)

Children’s observations of interpersonal violence. (Pp. 147-167 in A.R. Roberts (Ed.)

Battered women and their families (pp. 147-167). NY: Springer. Straus, M.A. (1992).

Children as witnesses to marital violence: A risk factor for lifelong problems among a nationally representative sample of American men and women. (Report of the Twenty-Third Ross Roundtable. Columbus, OH: Ross Laboratories.)