Village of Hands
Domestic Violence Facts

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, occurs when one person causes physical or psychological harm to a current or former intimate partner. It includes all acts of violence within the context of family or intimate relationships. Besides being the leading cause of injury to women in the United States (a woman is beaten every 15 seconds), it is an issue of increasing concern because of its negative effect on all family members, especially children.

Most victims of domestic violence are women.
Women are a "significantly greater" risk of intimate partner violence than men. By conservative estimates, 1.5 million women in the United States are assaulted by their intimate partners every year. (Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers Disease Control and Prevention, July 2000)

  • Domestic violence is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group and knows no geographic or educational boundaries. It also occurs within teenage relationships and among same-sex partnerships.
  • About one out of every four women in America will be physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In fact, American women are more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant.
  • Estimates of assaults on women by partners range from approximately 2 million to 4 million annually in the United States.
  • The majority of women killed at work are murdered by a current or former intimate partner.


More facts on domestic violence from Women in Distress:

85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

One in every three women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

Every day, four women die in this country as a result of domestic violence -- that's about 1,400 women a year.

In 2008, there were 113,123 reported cases of domestic violence in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Of those, 7,475 were reported in Broward County.

In 2007, females were the victims in 85 percent of domestic violence homicides in Florida.

Pregnant women are twice as likely to experience domestic violence as women who are not pregnant.

About 8.8 million children witness domestic violence each year.

30 percent to 60 percent of perpetrators of intimate-partner violence also abuse children in the household.

Children who have witnessed violence at home are five times more likely to commit or suffer violence when they become adults.

Nearly one in five teenage girls report that their boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm when presented with a breakup.

One in five teens in a serious relationship report having been hit, slapped or pushed by a partner.

Nearly half of all boys and girls say the abuse occurs in a school building or on school grounds.

If you are the victim of domestic violence

Call a local women’s shelter or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) to find out about legal options and resources available to you.


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