Intimate Partner Violence in the Criminal Courts
Among 3,750 cases of intentional physical violence by an intimate partner
that were filed in the state courts of 16 large urban counties in May 2002:49
- 86% of victims were female and 86% of defendants were male.
- 84% of cases involved a male defendant and a female victim, while 12% involved a female defendant and male victim. In 4% of cases, the defendant and victim were of the same gender.
- Most involved charges of simple assault (78%), aggravated assault (12%), or intimidation, including stalking (5%).
- 89% of victims sustained injuries, and 9% suffered serious injuries, including gunshot wounds, stab wounds, rape, and severe lacerations or burns.
- About 25% of cases involved the use of a weapon, such as a gun, a knife, or blunt object.
- 46% of defendants had a prior history of abusing the same victim.
- Children were present during the violent incident in 36% of the cases.
- Male defendants with female victims were more likely than others to have a history of abusing the same victim, and to have their violence witnessed by a child – and were more likely to be convicted.
- Female defendants convicted of IPV against male partners were relatively less likely to be incarcerated.
- 56% of cases resulted in a conviction, 33% were dropped or dismissed, and 9% led to pretrial diversion or deferred adjudication. Fewer than 1% of defendants were acquitted.
- Smith, E.L. & Farole, D.J., Jr. (2009). Profile of Intimate Partner Violence Cases in Large Urban Counties, BJS, .