Occurrence – Overall Statistics
- Domestic violence is a public health issue that disproportionately affects women.1
- A quarter of all U.S. women have been the victim of severe physical violence committed by a partner at some point.2
- Each year, approximately one and a half million women in the U.S. report a rape or physical assault by an intimate partner. 3
- An estimated 5 million women are physically, sexually, or emotionally abused by their partners each year in the U.S.4
- The majority of women who reported experiencing sexual violence, regardless of their sexual orientation, reported that they were victimized by male perpetrators according to the 2013 CDC report.5
Pregnancy & Domestic Violence
Approximately 324,000 pregnant women are battered by their intimate partners.6
Prenatal visits provide opportunities to screen for violence and discuss safety in the patient’s life.
- Homicide is a leading cause of traumatic death for pregnant and postpartum women in the United States, accounting for 31 percent of maternal injury.7
- Domestic violence puts victims at risk for adverse outcomes during pregnancy.
- It is estimated that 96% of pregnant women receive prenatal care.8 This involves an average of 12-13 prenatal care visits.9 Each of these appointments provides opportunities for screening and intervention.
Children - The Relationship between Domestic Violence and Health of the Child
- Findings from the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study10 revealed that child maltreatment, which includes domestic violence, increases the negative health impact of a child within the following areas:
- Addiction to drugs and alcohol.
- Chronic disorders and auto immune diseases.
- Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), low self-esteem, aggressive/violent behavior, bed-wetting, and nightmares.
- More likely to attempt suicide, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes.
- Increased rates of allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, and flu.
- Studies suggest that children exposed to domestic violence develop lower IQ rates compared to non-exposed children, potentially leading to poor school performance and development.11
Domestic Violence and STI (sexually transmitted infections)
- Female domestic violence victims have a higher sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence, as well as a higher prevalence of STI risk behaviors, compared with women in non-violent relationships.12
- Women in violent relationships should be considered for STI screening in clinics, and domestic violence issues should be addressed in STI prevention messages.13
- Violence and fear of violence can impede an abused partner’s ability to negotiate safe sex behaviors. Power and control can also be precursor to engaging in sexually risky behaviors which in turn increases the risk of STI rates.14
- Black, Michele C., et al. (2011). The National Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Survey, 2009.
- Clinical Preventative Services for Women – Closing the Gaps, Report Brief, Institute of Medicine, 2011.
- CDC, 2013.
- CDC, 2009.
- Chang, Berg, Saltzman, & Herndon, 2005.
- CDC, 2009.
- The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. This study is based on the theory that childhood experiences profoundly and causally shape adult life. The ACE Study is an ongoing collaborative research between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, and Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, CA.
- Koenen, 2003 K. C., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Taylor, A., & Purcell, S. (2003). Domestic violence is associated with environmental suppression of IQ in young children. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 297-329)
- The Intersection of HIV and Intimate Partner Violence: Considerations, Concerns, and Policy Implications, Marguerite L. Batty, John Hopkins University School of Nursing)
- (Domestic Violence Doubles Risk of Death for HIV-Positive Women, Laura Whitehorn, 2012)(Statistics from Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS)