Get the Facts
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Prevalence of Domestic Violence in the United States
- On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.1
- Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.2
- Women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner.3 Women are 84 percent of spouse abuse victims and 86 percent of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend. About three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male.4
- Women ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence.5
Violence and Young People
- 15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.6
- In a single day in 2008, 16,458 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing facility. Another 6,430 children sought services at a non-residential program.7
- Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner – a figure that mirrors victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.8
Consequences of Violence
- Women who have experienced domestic violence are 80 percent more likely to have a stroke, 70 percent more likely to have heart disease, 60 percent more likely to have asthma and 70 percent more likely to drink heavily than women who have not experienced intimate partner violence.9
- In the United States in 1995, the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totaled $5.8 billion each year for direct medical and mental health care services and lost productivity from paid work and household chores.10 When updated to 2003 dollars, the cost is more than $8.3 billion.11
Prevalence of Violence Against Women Globally
- The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that at least one of every three women globally will be beaten, raped or otherwise abused during her lifetime. In most cases, the abuser is a member of her own family.