Compiled by Board Member and Assistant Chief of Police Jesus R. Torres
Laredo Police Department FBINA #244
Every minute, about 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although the rate of domestic violence has dropped significantly over the past decade, the issue remains extremely relevant and far-reaching, and has been spotlighted recently by cases involving NFL players, as well as pop stars and celebrities. While these well-known and well-covered stories have shed light on domestic violence and helped alert the public to its dangers, many incidents still go unreported and unknown. Some of the data mined and stats follow.
Domestic violence doesn’t just occur between romantic partners.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in which someone uses physical, sexual, psychological or other types of harm against a current or former partner, an immediate family member or another relative. It can also include stalking, threats or other behaviors meant to manipulate or control someone else.
In a span of 10 years, domestic violence accounted for over 20 percent of all violent crime in the U.S. Intimate partner violence – meaning violence involving current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends – is the most common type of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is more common in dating relationships than active marriages.
The majority of domestic abuse offenders aren’t the spouses of victims – they are most likely to be current or former boyfriends or girlfriends.
Intimate partner violence is very prevalent on college campuses, with estimates of dating violence ranging from 10 to 50 percent, the Department of Justice reported.
Male victims are abused by non-spouse family members at a higher rate than female victims.
More than 1 in 3 women will be victims of intimate partner violence in their lifetimes, while more than 1 in 4 men will be, according to a CDC survey.
Both men and women are most likely to be targeted by people they currently date or used to date. But the National Crime Victimization Survey showed that male victims were more likely to have been targeted by family members or other relatives than were females.
Female victims, on the other hand, were more likely than males to be victimized by their spouse or ex-spouse.
Young women are the most likely targets.
Women between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most likely to experience intimate partner violence.
Domestic violence has dropped, but take a closer look.
The rate of domestic violence for persons 12 and older dropped by 63 percent from 1994 to 2012, the Department of Justice said. But while that may sound promising, it trails the 67 percent fall in overall violence over the same time period.
Domestic violence can seep into other areas of your life.
Domestic violence makes people more likely to suffer from depression and suicidal behavior and often negatively impacts a victim’s ability to perform well at work. Without adequate financial means, victims may find themselves trapped in an abusive relationship without enough money to leave. Altogether, intimate partner violence causes women to lose about 8 million days of paid work each year, according to a 2003 report.
But many victims’ stories still aren’t heard.
Despite progress, many cases of domestic violence stay in the dark. Only a little over half of cases are reported to authorities, and only about a third of victims injured in intimate partner violence receive medical care, the Department of Justice said.