Statistics on Domestic Violence
A recent post from Women'sWire, with references below. This looks like a
quick "digest" of several 90's studies on this subject of domestic
violence. (it didn't give the source) .
>>" It is estimated that six million women are assaulted by a male
partner each year and of these, 1.8 million are severely assaulted.
However, the rate for assaults by female partners is 124 per 1,000
couples, compared with 122 per 1,000 for assaults by male partners as
reported by wives. (Straus, 1993).
Every year, domestic violence causes approximately 100,000 days of
28,700 emergency department visits and 39,900 physician visits. This
violence costs the nation between $5 and $10 billion per year. (Meyer,
In 1993, twenty-nine percent of all female murder victims were slain
by their husbands or boyfriends. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1994).
One recent study found that possessiveness, which included infidelity,
fear of termination of the relationship, and sexual rivalry, was the most
prevalent reason given for a male offender to kill his romantic partner.
Female offenders killed much more often for self-defense than for any
other reason. (Rasche, 1993).
There seems to be a greater likelihood that spousal homicide of the
female partner in heterosexual couples will occur during a separation phase
of the relationship than during cohabitation. A 1993 study shows that
while risk to the female increased, there was no such greater risk for the
male. It found that wives were particularly at risk during the first two
months after separation and if they had unilaterally decided to end the
relationship. (Wilson and Daly, 1993).
In a community study of Mexican Americans, Blacks, and Whites, those
men and women reporting being beaten were also likely to report beating
their spouse, with the one exception of Mexican American men. Also studying
the effect of alcohol consumption, the quantity of alcohol consumed is the
best predictor of spousal violence rather than either the frequency of
drinking or the total volume consumed over a period of one week. Among the
formerly married women who reported being beaten, over 80% of all ethnic
subgroups also reported beating their former spouse. (Neff, Holamon and
A recent study indicated that women who killed their mates compared to
a sample of battered women who had not, experienced higher levels of severe
violence such as punching, kicking and strangling; perceived lower social
support available; and suffered from a higher level of posttraumatic
stress disorder. (Dutton, 1994).
Between 20% and 30% of our total population is at risk of serious
dysfunction from the abuse of psychoactive substances. In some communities,
the risk is more than 50%. A survey of juvenile and family court judges
showed they estimate that between 60% and 90% of all their cases involved
substance abuse as a significant factor. (National Council of Juvenile and
Family Court Judges, 1995).
One in ten Kentucky residents suspect their neighbors of spouse abuse.
Almost one third of responding lesbians say they have been victims of
physical violence by their partners. Nearly twelve percent reported severe
violence. (Lockhart, 1994).
Military families experience a significantly greater amount of spousal
violence than civilians, according to a recent comparative survey. This
study showed no significant racial difference. There was a significantly
higher amount of slapping and hair pulling among those commissioned than
those enlisted. (Cronin, 1995).
The Bureau of Justice Statistics studied data of nearly 10,000 murder
defendants from large urban areas and found that of the spousal murder
defendants, 41% were female. Black females were more likely to kill their
spouses than white females: 47% of the black homicide victims were male
compared to 38% for white male homicide victims. (Dawson and Langan, 1994).
One study shows nearly ninety percent of spouse killers receive a
prison sentence, with an average mean term of thirteen years. Although the
study does not break out sentence length received by gender, convicted
spouse murderers were less likely to receive a severe sentence compared to
non-family murder convicts: 12.7% received a life sentence and 9.3%
received probation for spouse killers, compared to 16% and 2.7% receiving
life sentence and probation respectively for non-family murderers. (Dawson
and Langan, 1994).
Family violence researchers have developed a list of severe violence
risk markers for identifying battering potential by men. In addition to
living below the poverty line, the men: are unemployed or lower skilled;
use drugs; have a different religion from partner; saw his father hit his
mother; not married to but live with partner; have some high school
education; between 18 and 30; or their partners use severe violence toward
children at home. (Gelles, Lackner and Wolfner, 1994).
An analysis of severe husband-to-wife domestic violence indicates that
husbands who were sober during the incident tend to blame their wifes for
the violence while husbands consuming alcohol tend to assume
responsibility. (Senchak and Leonard, 1994).
References Cronin, Christopher. (1995). "Adolescent Reports of Parental
Spousal Violence in Military and Civilian Families." Journal of
Interpersonal Violence, 10(1): 117-122.
Dawson, John M. and Patrick A. Langan. (1994). Murder in Families.
Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Dutton, Mary Ann et al. (1994). "Traumatic Responses Among Battered Women
Journal of Traumatic Stress, 7(4): 549-564.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1994). "Crime in the United States,
1993." Washington, D.C.
Gelles, Richard J., Regina Lackner and Glenn D. Wolfner. (1994). "Men Who
Batter: The Risk Markers." Violence Update, 4(12): 1-2, 4, 10.
Lockhart, Lettie L., Barbara W. White, Vicki Causby, and Alicia Isaak.
(1994). "Letting out the Secret: Violence in Lesbian Relationships."
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 9(4): 469-492.
Meyer, Harris. (1992). "The Billion-Dollar Epidemic," in Violence: A
Compendium from JAMA, American Medical News, and the Specialty Journals of
the American Medical Association.
Chicago: American Medical Association.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. (1995). "Drugs - The
American Family in Crisis: A Judicial Response: 43 Recommendations."
Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 46(1):
Neff, James Alan, Bruce Holamon and Tracy Davis Schluter. (1995). "Spousal
Violence Among Anglos, Blacks, and Mexican Americans: The Role of
Demographic Variables, Psychosocial Predictors, and Alcohol Consumption."
Journal of Family Violence, 10(1): 1-21.
Paquin, Gary W. (1994). "Statewide Survey of Reactions to Neighbors'
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 9(4): 493-502.
Rasche, Christine. (1993). "'Given' Reasons for Violence in Intimate
Relationships." in Wilson, Anna V. (ed.). (1993). Homicide: The
Victim/Offender Connection. Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing Company.
Senchak, Marilyn and Kenneth E. Leonard. (1994). "Attributions for Episodes
Aggression: The Effects of Aggression Severity and Alcohol Use." Journal of
Straus, Murray A. (1993). "Physical Assaults by Wives: A Major Social
Problem." in Gelles,
Richard J. and Donileen R. Loseke, eds. (1993). Current Controversies on
Family Violence.Newbury Park, CA: Sage Pub.
Wilson, Margo and Martin Daly. (1993). "Spousal Homicide Risk and
Estrangement." Violence and Victims, 8(1), 3-16.
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