It is difficult to know how many people are affected by domestic violence or how large of a social issue it is around the world – family violence takes place behind closed doors and because of the shame and intimidation involved in family violence, many victims never come forward. However, even though we are still unsure of the exact scope of the problem, researchers have conducted a number of studies in recent years that begin to show us just how many lives are affected by domestic violence and spousal abuse.

Domestic Violence Statistics

•    According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of four women will experience domestic violence at some point during her lifetime.
•    According to a national survey, fifty percent of men who abuse their partners also abuse their children.
•    According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, over 2 million domestic abuse victims call help hotlines each year.
•    According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, 15 percent of domestic violence victims are men. Some believe that this number is even higher.
•    According to the National Institute of Justice, over a half million people each year are stalked by a former partner or spouse. Three out of four domestic violence homicides also involved stalking.
•    According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, four people are murdered each day by their intimate partners. All in all 30 percent of all female murder victims were killed by partners or ex-partners.
•    According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 76 percent of the women who reported being sexually assaulted after the age of 18 said that they had been assaulted by their intimate partner or spouse.
•    According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, twenty percent of teens report having been physically abused or emotionally abused by dating partners.
•    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, domestic violence costs our country $5.8 billion each year in medical costs, mental health costs, lost wages, and lost productivity.
Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington