Domestic Violence Statistics

Statistics gathered for domestic violence show it to be a pernicious and grave problem across many areas of the world. It is only relatively recently (in the last 10 or 11 years in the UK) that figures are able to give anywhere near to an accurate picture of the extent and severity of domestic violence, as for many years it was considered a domestic issue and cases were not reported or hidden from public knowledge. In the US, it wasn’t until 1975 that the majority of states allowed a woman to bring a criminal justice case against a man who beat her. And, not until 1988 were women victims of domestic violence awarded payments thanks to the amendment of the Victims of Crimes Act.(US)

However, domestic violence is now established as a criminal justice issue, and statistics are available that give a useful base to work from. However, no statistics on this subject can give 100% accuracy, as there are still many cases that go unreported through fear of reprisals, misplaced guilt and other personal and cultural issues.

Statistics for Domestic Violence In the UK

A speech given by the Director of Public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, gives the statistics as follows:

  • Nearly 1 million women experience at least one incident of domestic violence every year.
  • A minimum of 750,000 children per year are winess to incidents of domestic violence.
  • Two women are killed each week by their partner or ex partner.
  • 54% of adult female victims of serious sexual assault were assaulted by a partner or ex partner.
  • Repeat victimisation is reported more in cases of domestic violence than in any other sort of crime.
  • 76% of all domestic violence incidents are repeated assaults.
  • On average, a woman will experience 35 assaults of domestic violence before she reports it to the police.
  • 19% of women have experienced stalking from the age of 16 years.
  • A poll undertaken in 2009 showed that 1 in 5 thought that it would be acceptable for a man to slap his wife or girlfriend if she ‘dressed in sexy or revealing clothes in public.’
  • Teenage relationships are also becoming more prone to violence. Some 25% of girls and 18% of boys have expereinced some form of violence in relationships.

Statistics for Domestic Violence In the US

The figures that follow are from the American Bar Assosciation.

  • A study done in 1995 and 1996 across the 50 states showed that 25% of women and 7.6% of men were raped or physically assaulted at some point in their lives by a partner, spouse, dating partner or former partner.
  • Around 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are assaulted physically by an intimate partner every year.
  • In 2001, IPV (intimate partner violence) made up 20% of all non fatal crime against women.
  • 3% of non fatal violence against men was IPV.
  • 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner in 2000. More recently, 33% of women murder victims and 4% of male murder victims were killed by an intimate partner.
  • Firearms access presents a five fold increase of risk of IP (intimate partner) homicide.
  • Two thirds of women killed with firearms were killed by their intimate partners.
  • A study undertaken in 1998 to 2002 by the US Department of Justice shows that of 3.5 million violent crimes committed within families, 49% were crimes against spouses.
  • 84% of abused spouses are female. 86% of date abuse cases show the victim to be female.
  • 50% of those in US prisons for spousal abuse had killed their victims.

Further statistics for domestc violence show that:

  • One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
  • Every year there are 13 million separate incidents of domestic violence (or threats of violence) made against women
  • 70% of children living in refuges in the UK had been abused by their father.

The figures above can only ever be used to give a general idea of the extent of domestic violence. However, the true figures are believed to be far higher than the statistics can show as so many cases go unreported or not taken to court.