How Widespread Is Intimate Partner Violence?

Statistics from selected NIJ-sponsored studies on the extent of intimate partner violence—often called "domestic violence"—illustrate the scope of the problem.

  • Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.[1]
  • Women are significantly more likely than men to be injured during an intimate partner assault (39 percent compared with 24.8 percent).[2]
  • Intimate partner homicides make up 40–50 percent of all murders of women in the United States. In 70–80 percent of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.[3]
  • Among National Violence Against Women Survey participants, the lifetime prevalence of all intimate partner victimization for women age 18 and older was nearly 25 percent, and 7.6 percent for men.[4]
  • Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40–45 percent of battering relationships.[5]
  • Approximately 1.5 percent of surveyed women in the National Violence Against Women Survey sample experienced intimate partner violence (physical and/or sexual), and almost 0.5 percent were stalked by an intimate partner during the past year.[6]
  • For men, 0.9 percent of those surveyed experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence in the past year, and 0.2 percent were stalked by an intimate partner annually.[7]

Works Cited

[1], [2], [4], [6], [7] Tjaden, P., and N. Thoennes. Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey . Research Report. Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 2000, NCJ 183781.

[3] Campbell, J.C., D. Webster, J. Koziol-McLain, C.R. Block, D. Campbell, M.A. Curry, F. Gary, J. McFarlane, C. Sachs, P. Sharps, Y. Ulrich, and S.A. Wilt. "Assessing Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicide." NIJ Journal 250 (November 2003): 14–19, NCJ 196547.

[5]>Campbell, J.C., and K. Soeken. "Forced Sex and Intimate Partner Violence: Effects on Women's Risk and Women's Health." Violence Against Women 5(2)(July 1999): 1017–35.

Date Created: October 24, 2007