Domestic violence is an act of physical or psychological abuse inflicted upon an individual by their intimate partner or a family member. Domestic violence takes many forms, such as physical or sexual abuse, threats, stalking, emotional or psychological abuse, and economic abuse.
Although women are often the victims, domestic violence statistics show that men also suffer from such abuse. To gain a better perspective on this problem, let’s look into some of the most striking statistics currently available.
Eye-Opening Domestic Violence Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- More than a third of women worldwide experience domestic abuse.
- One in three women in the US experiences physical violence caused by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
- One in four men in the US is a domestic abuse victim.
- 43 million women in the US suffer psychological aggression caused by their partners.
- In the US, 24 people are raped, physically abused, or stalked every minute by their intimate partners.
- Around 50% of female homicides are committed by an intimate partner.
- One in six women and one in nine men in the US are victims of stalking by former partners.
- Domestic abuse victims are twice as likely to develop depression.
General Domestic Violence Statistics
1. In the US, one in three women is physically abused by an intimate partner.
In the United States, a shocking number of women experience some form of violence at the hands of their intimate partners. According to United States domestic violence statistics, one in three women has experienced domestic abuse in their lifetime, be it physical, sexual, or emotional.
These acts of aggression take different forms, such as slapping, pushing, shoving, hitting, and lead to one in seven women being injured.
2. 24.3% of men in the US are domestic abuse victims.
When thinking about domestic violence, many tend to ignore that this plague also affects the male population, causing the same long-term consequences. Approximately one in four men has experienced domestic abuse by their partners in the form of slapping, pushing, shoving, etc.
3. One in six women in the US has been stalked.
Stalking is one of the most common forms of aggression nowadays. In the US, approximately one in six women and one in 19 men have been victims of stalking during their lifetime. As US domestic violence statistics show, this accounts for 16.2% of the female population and 5.2% of the male population.
Moreover, most victims reported fearing for their life and physical integrity while being stalked. That’s why a lot of companies are creating the best pepper sprays with women’s self-defense in mind.
4. Intimate partners commit over 50% of rapes.
Rape is a severe form of abuse that often causes serious physical and psychological trauma. Although the perpetrator is often unknown, statistics show that an alarming number of rapes are committed by victims’ partners.
More precisely, 51.1% of women were raped by an intimate partner, while 40.8% of victims accused an acquaintance of this assault.
5. Around 50% of female homicides are committed by an intimate partner.
Data suggests that women get murdered more often at the hands of a loved one than a stranger. Police domestic abuse statistics show that 40–50% of female homicides are committed by an intimate partner or another family member, whereas this sort of crime affects 5–8% of men.
6. In the US, 24 people are raped, physically abused, or stalked every minute by their intimate partners.
The number of rapes committed every day in the United States is overwhelming, and this type of crime affects both women and men. According to national domestic violence stats, every minute, 24 people become victims of rape, stalking, or other forms of physical violence committed by an intimate partner, affecting over 12 million men and women per year.
7. 44% of lesbian women are domestic violence victims.
Domestic abuse affects men and women regardless of their sexual orientation. One of the striking domestic violence statistics is that 44% of lesbian women fall victims to physical violence, rape, or other forms of violence committed by an intimate partner.
On the other hand, 61% of bisexual women and 35% of heterosexual women experience the same traumas.
8. One in four gay men gets raped by an intimate partner.
Domestic abuse is common among homosexuals as well, with numbers indicating that one in four gay men experiences rape, physical violence, or stalking by their intimate partner at some point in life.
Moreover, according to domestic violence statistics CDC, one in three bisexual men and three in 10 heterosexual men experience the same.
9. Domestic abuse affects four out of 10 non-Hispanic Black women.
Domestic abuse statistics revealed by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey show that four out of 10 non-Hispanic Black women, American Indian, or Alaskan Native women have reported domestic abuse such as physical assault, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner.
This percentage is up to 50% higher than the one reported among white non-Hispanic, Hispanic, or Asian women.
10. Domestic abuse victims are twice as likely to develop depression.
Depression is one of the most common and severe long-term consequences reported by victims of domestic abuse. According to the World Health Organization, women who have been victims of intimate partner violence are twice as likely to suffer from depression than those who haven’t been abused.
11. The COVID-19 pandemic increased domestic violence rates by almost 30% in some cities in the US.
Last year, the negative impact of lockdowns went far beyond economic turmoil and alienation. Although the overall crime rate in the US decreased, domestic violence statistics during COVID show that the rate of violence committed by intimate partners increased significantly in multiple cities.
A few striking examples include New York, with a 10% increase in domestic violence cases, San Antonio, with an 18% increase, Portland, with a 22% increase, and Jefferson, AL, with a 27% increase in domestic violence rate.
12. More than 66% of stalking victims have been stalked by their former or current intimate partners.
Domestic violence statistics show that 66.2% of female stalking victims reported that their stalker was a current or former intimate partner. Among men, 41.4% reported they were stalked by an intimate partner, whereas 40% accused an acquaintance of this type of harassment.
These numbers demonstrate once again that people close to victims are most likely to harm them. In this case, personal safety should not be taken lightly.
13. 43 million women in the US have experienced psychological aggression by their intimate partners.
As domestic violence statistics in the US show, many women experience psychological aggression by an intimate partner, but it also affects men. More precisely, 38 million men have experienced psychological aggression by their intimate parents in their lifetime.
14. 53.3% of abusers have a mental illness or use drugs.
Domestic violence statistics in 2020 revealed that more than half of abusers took illicit substances or had a mental illness. Lockdown and social isolation only contributed to that percentage and the rise in the number of domestic violence victims.
Global Domestic Violence Trends
15. More than a third of women worldwide experience domestic abuse.
The problem of violence against women has long been debated in developed and developing countries, with no country being able to tackle this issue.
Across the globe, as many as 35% of women are victims of physical or sexual abuse committed by an intimate partner. Moreover, according to victims of domestic violence statistics, 50% of victims don’t report domestic abuse.
16. Domestic violence is less prevalent in high-income countries.
Acts of domestic violence are frequent worldwide. However, domestic violence statistics by country show that their prevalence estimates are different based on multiple factors such as income.
Therefore, intimate partner violence is lower in high-income countries and Europe (22%) than in the Eastern Mediterranean region (31%) or the South-East Asia region (33%).
17. In India, domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries among women.
India is one of the countries with the highest rates of domestic violence against women. According to domestic violence statistics in India, 22 to 35% of emergency hospital visits result from domestic violence, which is the leading cause of physical injuries in Indian women.
These violent acts include rape, genital mutilation, dowry-related abuse, battering, sexual assault of female children, etc. Most often, the victim is abused by multiple family members, not only their intimate partner. For example, 4,448 cases of rape committed by fathers or other family members were reported in 2016.
18. Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon register the highest rates of domestic violence.
Some of the countries in the world with the highest rate of domestic violence are Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Mali.
In Mali, one of the most alarming abusive relationships facts shows that genital mutilation is a frequent form of violence inflicted upon women by family members.
Women can’t even sign legal documents without their husband’s consent in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while domestic violence is often linked to arranged marriages in India.
19. 48 countries had strengthened their measures against domestic violence by September 2020.
Globally, the number of violent acts committed by intimate partners has increased due to coronavirus restrictions that forced people to stay at home. As a result, victims are often put in life-threatening situations.
Therefore, 48 countries worldwide so far have implemented additional prevention and response measures to stop the violence. Additionally, 121 countries have improved the services offered to female domestic abuse victims, as stats on abusive relationships show.
20. 600 million women worldwide can’t fight domestic violence legally.
An alarming fact regarding domestic violence is that women in many parts of the world are not even considered victims if their husband abuses them.
According to domestic violence stats gathered by the United Nations, a staggering number of 600 million women worldwide live in countries where domestic violence is not considered illegal. In other words, there is no law protecting them against their partner’s aggressive behavior.
Domestic Violence Statistics By State
21. Currently, Michigan has the highest rate of domestic violence.
(World Population Review)
With a percentage of 41.8%, Michigan is currently the state with the highest domestic violence rate in the country.
This is followed by West Virginia (41.2%), Oklahoma (40.7%), Missouri (40.40%), Georgia (39.9%), New Hampshire (37.80%), Delaware (36.70%), Wyoming (35.80%), Arkansas, (35.60%), and Texas (35.10%).
22. Almost 50% of women in Alaska are victims of domestic abuse.
As domestic violence stats show, Alaska is one of the states with the highest rates of female domestic violence victims. Almost 50% of English-speaking adult women in this state experience physical or sexual violence committed by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
23. In NYC, intimate partner homicides account for over 50% of domestic homicides.
New York City is one of the places in the US where women are less safe. According to the 2018 NYC DV Fatality Review Committee, homicides committed by intimate partners accounted for more than half of family-related homicides registered in New York. In this city, the Police Department responds to an average of 230,000 domestic abuse calls per year.
24. More than 40% of families are homeless in New York due to domestic violence.
In 2019, domestic violence statistics in NYC show that 41% of families living in NYC shelters ended up homeless due to domestic violence. This is why it’s become the leading cause of family homelessness.
Even though many organizations offer their full support to the victims, the number of people who end up homeless due to domestic violence is still worrying.
25. In Nevada, more than 30% of men are victims of domestic abuse.
In the state of Nevada, domestic violence against both men and women is often reported. More precisely, 32.8% of men and 43.8% of women experience intimate partner violence at some point in their lives.
26. Almost 40% of women in Florida experience intimate partner violence.
Statistics of domestic violence in the United States show that 37.9% of Florida women are affected by dating violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. The percentage of men affected by the same types of abuse is 29.3%.
In 2019 alone, the police in Florida dealt with 105,298 cases of domestic violence. Real figures could be higher, given that many victims refuse or are not able to seek help.
27. 37.5% of women in Alabama become victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.
According to physical abuse stats, the percentage of men who are victims of domestic abuse in Alabama is rather high as well. More precisely, 29.5% of men experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
28. Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of domestic violence against women.
(World Population Review)
Domestic violence rates vary by state, but rates in Oklahoma are among the highest in the United States. A whopping 49.1% of women in Oklahoma experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. This includes rape, physical assault, and stalking.
29. Intimate partner abuse harms almost 35% of California women.
In California, 34.9% of women are stalked or physically and sexually abused by a spouse, boyfriend, or dating partner. Moreover, men in California are abused by their intimate partners.
To be exact, 31.1% of men experience abuse. Another alarming statistic shows that 46% of intimate partner abuse incidents reported to the police involved weapons.
Domestic violence is present in every part of the world and involves different forms of abuse such as physical violence, rape, or stalking. Although these acts of violence target women more frequently, as domestic violence facts and statistics show, men are not an exception.
Domestic violence affects everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, race, or gender. Unfortunately, in some countries, such crimes are not punishable by law.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did it become illegal to beat your wife?
Throughout history, laws have gradually been passed to protect individuals and ensure their rights. Yet, to understand why certain laws started getting implemented later than expected, it’s important to consider historical circumstances.
It’s also worth reflecting on what marriage represented centuries ago—a mere contract regulated by social norms. Emotions and feelings mattered very little since marriage was a duty, not a choice. Therefore, domestic abuse wasn’t considered a crime in the past.
Domestic violence hasn’t always been punished by law. In fact, as previously highlighted, millions of women worldwide live in countries where there is still no law that prohibits it. It was in 1871 when the first US state prohibited “wife-beating” by law.
How many domestic violence cases are reported each year?
Domestic violence cases remain some of the most common acts of violence in today’s society. Nonetheless, as it often happens, many of these crimes are not reported to the police for different reasons, including fear or shame.
Especially among women, victims are frequently reluctant to ask for help as they fear retaliation. Moreover, in some countries where women still don’t benefit from proper legislation in this regard, accusing their intimate partner of aggressive behavior can easily leave the abuser unpunished and eager to take revenge.
According to stats, over 10 million men and women in the US report domestic violence every year.
What percentage of domestic abuse victims are male?
Men are often overlooked when it comes to domestic violence, as domestic violence against males statistics shows. Given their physical strength and the fact that men are usually perpetrators, the possibility of them being victims is often disregarded.
Nonetheless, in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, men are sometimes victims and not perpetrators, as you have discovered if you went through the above statistics.
Domestic abuse affects both men and women. However, it tends to be more prevalent among women. Nonetheless, when it comes to severe physical violence committed by an intimate partner, 40% of victims are men.
How often does domestic violence occur?
If you went through the statistics above, you are now more aware of the extent of this problem that still exists even in the richest countries in the world where people have access to higher education. Domestic violence is one of those issues that all societies face, regardless of religion, income, or legislation.
Shocking statistics show that approximately 24 people per minute are being abused by their intimate partner nationwide. Moreover, one in four women and one in nine men report severe physical violence caused by an intimate partner.
How prevalent is domestic violence?
Because being abused by a partner is one of the most severe traumas anyone can experience, domestic violence crimes often remain hidden. Victims frequently refuse or fail to get help because they’re ashamed or afraid. So, the real number of these violent acts is unknown, despite the existing domestic abuse stats.
However, due to the striking number of people who are being physically or sexually abused by their intimate partner every minute in the US, one can conclude that domestic violence is a severe and prevalent issue in our society.
Over the course of a single year, more than 12 million people of both genders are affected by domestic abuse.
How many people die from domestic violence?
When someone physically abuses their intimate partner, the intention is rarely to take that person’s life. In most abusive relationships, the abuser inflicts physical and psychological pain upon their partner over a longer period of time.
The victim decides to seek help only after a series of physical attacks. Nonetheless, the sad truth is that sometimes the abuser ends up killing their intimate partner in a fit of rage.
The number of fatalities is by no means insignificant. Almost one in five homicides in the US, or approximately 16% of the total number of homicides, are domestic violence deaths. Women are more likely to be killed during an act of domestic violence as two out of three domestic violence homicide victims are women.
What percentage of women physically abuse their husbands?
Men are often disregarded when it comes to domestic abuse since society perceives them only as perpetrators. Nonetheless, men are also victims of domestic abuse. As Centers for Disease Control statistics show, approximately 28.5% of men are abused by their partners.
When did domestic violence become a crime in the US?
Violence has been and always will be a dark side of human nature. Unfortunately, a person closest to aggressive individuals is often the victim.
Laws against domestic violence had existed even before 1900, but they were not valid nationwide. For example, in 1871, Alabama became the first state to revoke men’s legal right to beat their wives.
In 1882, Maryland became the first state to pass a law, making “wife-beating” a crime. The punishment for such a crime was one year in jail or 40 lashes. After 1920, all states started considering domestic violence a crime. Nonetheless, the criminal justice system began taking domestic violence cases seriously around 1970.
What country has the highest domestic violence rate?
Namibia is considered the country with the highest domestic violence rate, especially against girls aged 15–19. This is one of the many countries where girls as young as 14 years old get married as per tradition and their families’ decision.
Unfortunately, many of these marriages soon lead to conflict and violence. Over one-third of Namibian women, regardless of age, have reported intimate partner violence, even during pregnancy.
Which state has the most domestic violence?
In the United States, domestic violence is one reason people reach out to the police and different support organizations for help. Men and women alike are victims of domestic violence.
However, the rate at which these acts occur varies significantly from state to state. In some states, such as Alaska, the District of Columbia, New York, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, or West Virginia, these crimes are more prevalent.
According to 2020 domestic violence statistics, Michigan is currently the state with the highest domestic violence rate (almost 42%).