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Demographics and Domestic Violence

Leading facts and statistics on the demographics of domestic violence victims and abusers.

  • January 07, 2015
  • By domesticshelters.org
Demographics and Domestic Violence

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Demographics and Domestic Violence
Demographics and Domestic Violence

The likelihood of domestic violence varies widely depending on gender, race, education and income, as well as a series of psychographic characteristics such as sexual preference, substance abuse, history of family violence, and history of criminal activity.

85% of domestic violence victims are women. Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.

Approximately 4 out of every 10 non-Hispanic Black women (43.7%), 4 out of every 10 American Indian or Alaska Native women (46.0%), and 1 in 2 multiracial non-Hispanic women (53.8%) have been the victim of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. These rates are 30%-50% higher than those experienced by Hispanic, White non-Hispanic women and Asian or Pacific non-Hispanic women. Source: National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, Atlanta, GA, and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly half (45.3%) of American Indian or Alaska Native men and almost 4 out of every 10 Black and multiracial non-Hispanic men (38.6% and 39.3%, respectively) in the U.S. reported experiencing rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. These rates are nearly twice the rate experienced by Hispanic and White non-Hispanic men. Source: National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, Atlanta, GA, and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The higher prevalence of intimate partner violence among ethnic minorities cannot be explained by any single factor, but seems to be related to risk factors such as substance abuse, unemployment, education, cohabitation of unmarried partners, pregnancy, income. Source:Raul Caetano, M.D., Ph.D.; John Schafer, Ph.D.; and Carol B. Cunradi, M.P.H., Ph.D., “Alcohol-Related Intimate Partner Violence Among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the United States.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Acoholism.

Most studies agree the majority of domestic violence perpetrators that come to the attention of criminal justice or court authorities have a prior criminal history for a variety of nonviolent and violent offenses against males as well as females, and of a domestic or nondomestic nature. Source: Practical Implications fo Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institutes of Justice. June, 2009.

The most common age when intimate partner violence is first experienced by women is age 18-24 (38.6%), followed by age 11-17 (22.4%), age 35-44 (6.8%) and age 45+ (2.5%). For men the most common age is age 18-24 (47.1%), followed by age 25-34 (30.6%), age 11-17 (15.0%), age 35-44 (10.3%) and age 45+ (5.5%). Source: National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, Atlanta, GA, and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

44% of percent of lesbian women and 61% of bisexual women – compared to 35% of heterosexual women – experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Source: National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, Atlanta, GA, and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

26% percent of gay men and 37% of bisexual men – compared to 29% of heterosexual men – experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. Source: National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, Atlanta, GA, and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.