Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is abuse committed by a spouse, a former spouse, a fiancee, a boyfriend or girlfriend, and a cohabitant upon another individual. It is estimated that a domestic violence act occurs every 15 seconds somewhere in the United States. That figure translates to over 2.5 million victims per year. This abuse affects the lives of the victim and the children who live within the boundaries of these abusive relationships.

General Information

In 1991, 5,745 women in the United States died as a result of homicide.

  • Six in every 10 women who are victims of homicide were murdered by someone they knew. About half of these women were murdered by a spouse or someone with whom they had been intimate.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44.
  • Every 21 days, a woman is killed by domestic violence.
  • Children are involved in 60 percent of domestic violence cases.
  • More than three million children witness acts of domestic violence each year.
  • Up to 50 percent of all homeless women and children in this country are fleeing domestic violence.
  • One in ten calls made to alert police of domestic violence is placed by a child in the home.
  • More than 53 percent of male abusers beat their children.
  • One of every three abused children becomes an adult abuser or victim.
  • Victims and abusers are found in every social and economic class, race, religious group, and sexual orientation.
  • Factors such as poverty, single-parent households headed by women, and parents with less than a high school education were found to be more common among families suffering abuse.

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