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

Schluter, 1995).


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.

(Paquin, 1994).


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

Who Kill."

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'

Domestic Violence."

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

of Marital

Aggression: The Effects of Aggression Severity and Alcohol Use." Journal of

Family Violence,

9(4): 371-381.


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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