National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse


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  About Domestic Abuse/Violence (and child abuse)

Stats and facts

by Bill Murray

The issues of domestic abuse and violence and those of child abuse are closely related, so closely related that we'd feel our site was incomplete without a discussion of the statistics and facts of domestic violence, especially important because so many children are raised in homes where they are directly exposed.

All these kids experience emotional trauma of the most serious sort, watching dad browbeat and become physically violent with mom.

PLEASE NOTE: For the sake of argument, and simply to make things easier to explain in this discussion, I'll use a male model as the abuser, and a female as the victim. As you'll see below, studies show the male is much more likely the perpetrator of domestic violence in a relationship, while females are more typically abused. However, there are many cases where the woman is the aggressive, controlling and violent partner, too.

From the child's perspective, growing up in a home where domestic abuse and violence is the method of controlling a spouse is both traumatic in and of itself, and can set up "accepted" patterns of behavior they'll eventually continue to display in their own adult lives.

The trauma is an emotional response to seeing how one "loved" parent expresses themselves to the second "loved" parent. It's confusing and destroys the ability to trust.

A boy who witnesses his dad beating his mother will often grow up thinking of dad's behavior as appropriate to duplicate with own his wife or girlfriends. And a girl who sees mom being beaten and controlled can easily grow up believing this is "typical" or "acceptable" in a relationship, and will be much more likely to select a mate (many times unconsciously at first) with the characteristics and behavior her father displayed.

As usual there are two specific aspects to the problem of domestic abuse and violence we'll want to address at NAASCA.

Firstly, we'll want to assist the millions of children who are growing up in homes where domestic abuse and violence is occurring. If we can identify and serve their needs we'll be putting a significant dent in the statistics of today's group of emotionally abused and traumatized kids.

Second, we'll try to emphasize the need for adult victims of domestic abuse to recognize the core of their current problem may well have had its beginnings in the patterns of the traumatic behavior they experienced in their own youth. We need to break the patterns of this behavior in our own lives now, so as to not pass them on to our own children.

Then, too, its sadly often the case that a child is used as a pawn by a controlling parent who's determined to get his / her way. We recommend a listen to our recent 90 minute "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk show special guest Sara Hassman about this phenomenon, known as "Parental Alienation."
(on-demand show direct link at: Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - Episode 654 -- special guest Sara Hassman)

Escaping a current situation is not easy, but that's why we've listed hundreds of local Groups and Services on our NAASCA web site, tools that're devoted to helping you. Then, too, other groups and services are specifically listed to help you deal with your core issue .. the trauma you experienced in your youth.

Here's a bit more about domestic abuse and violence:


Facts and Statistics
from "A Better Way" Domestic Violence Shelter and Outreach, Victorville, California

Here are some facts and statistics that were compiled by "A Better Way" as presented on their web site:

The FBI reports 4 women a day are beaten to death by their partners

According to The March of Dimes: domestic violence is the #1 cause of birth defects -- More than all other medical causes combine

An estimated 3 to 4 million American women are battered each year by their partners

Domestic violence occurs among all races and socio-economic groups

45% of women are slapped, kicked or beaten

75% of battered women attempt suicide

77% of men feel their masculinity is threatened if their wives don't listen to them

55% of women perceive violence is a part of their marriage

85% - 95% of all domestic violence victims are female

Over 5000,00 women are stalked by an intimate partner each year

5.3 million women are abused each year

As many as 324,000 women each year experience domestic violence during their pregnancy

1,232 women each year are killed by an intimate partner

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women

Women are more likely to be attacked by someone that they know rather than by a stranger

An estimated 5.3 million cases of domestic violence occur among U.S. women 18 and older each year, resulting in nearly 2 million injuries

On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the U.S. every day

In a survey by the US Conference of Mayors, 56% of cities surveyed cited domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness

50% to 70% of men who abuse women also abuse children

Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace

Of the approximately 1.7 million incidents of workplace violence that occur in the U.S. every year, 18,700 are committed by an intimate partner: a current or former spouse, lover, partner or boyfriend/girlfriend

Things you can't do to stop domestic violence ..

You can't change your partner's behavior!
You can not stop your partner's violence toward you. Your partner is in control of his or her own actions just as you are in control of yours.

You can't stay in an abusive relationship and be safe!
Without intervention, family violence becomes more frequent and severe.

You can't do the "right thing" to please the abuser!
It's not about you! The choice to abuse lies with the abuser.

You can't save the relationship by yourself!
You can go to counseling, you can do whatever it takes to try to make things better--but it takes TWO people to make a relationship work.

You can't forgive and forget!
It only gives the abuser license to strike again. If the abuser suffers no consequences, they have no reason to stop.

You can't shield your partner from the consequences of abusive behavior!
"My partner didn't really mean it...this time, officer!" If the abuser doesn't really want to change the behavior, it doesn't matter how much they beg or plead to avoid going to jail. THE ABUSER WILL DO OR SAY ANYTHING TO AVOID FACING THE CONSEQUENCES!

You shouldn't respond to violence with violence!
Violence is NOT an appropriate or helpful response to another person's actions or words. But, remember...if you are in extreme fear for your have the right to defend yourself!

Remember ..

If domestic violence has made you angry, this is good! Your well-directed anger at this mistreatment is an acknowledgement of your own self worth.


"A Better Way"
Domestic Violence Shelter and Outreach
Victorville, California



National Statistics on Domestic Violence
compliled and verified by State of Oregon

National Domestic Violence

One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.

Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend to 3 million women who are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend per year.

Women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15%.

Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.

Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.

Between 1993 and 2004, intimate partner violence on average made up 22% of nonfatal intimate partner victimizations against women. The same year, intimate partners committed 3% of all violent crime against men.

Separated and divorced males and females are at a greater risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.

Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.

Average annual rates of intimate partner victimization between 1994 and 2004 are approximately the same for non-Hispanic and Hispanic females and males.

Intimate partner violence affects people regardless of income. However, people with lower annual income (below $25K) are at a 3-times higher risk of intimate partner violence than people with higher annual income (over $50K). Those with less resources are more likely to report incidents of violence.

On average between 1993 and 2004, residents of urban areas experienced highest level of nonfatal intimate partner violence. Residents in suburban and rural areas were equally likely to experience such violence, about 20% less than those in urban areas.

Nearly 2.2 million people called a domestic violence crisis or hot line in 2004 to escape crisis situations, seek advice, or assist someone they thought might be victims.

Studies show that access to shelter services leads to a 60-70% reduction in incidence and severity of re-assault during the 3-12 months' follow up period compared to women who did not access shelter. Shelter services led to greater reduction in severe re-assault than did seeking court or law enforcement protection, or moving to a new location.

Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.

Domestic Violence Homicides

On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men.

Most intimate partner homicides occur between spouses, though boyfriends/girlfriends have committed about the same number of homicides in recent years.

The health-related costs of intimate partner violence exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of that amount, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental health care services, and nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages.

About half of all female victims of intimate violence report an injury of some type, and about 20 percent of them seek medical assistance.

Thirty-seven percent of women who sought treatment in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries in 1994 were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend.

Dating Violence

Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

One in five teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner. 14% of teens report their boyfriend or girlfriend threatened to harm them or themselves to avoid a breakup. Many studies indicate that as a dating relationship becomes more serious, the potential for and nature of violent behavior also escalates.

Date rape accounts for almost 70% of sexual assaults reported by adolescent and college age women; 38% of those women are between 14 and 17 years old.

Domestic Violence and Children

In a national survey of American families, 50% of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children.

On average between 1993 and 2004, children under age 12 were residents of households experiencing intimate partner violence in 43% of incidents involving female victims and 25% of incidents involving male victims.

Studies suggest that between 3.3 - 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

Domestic Violence and Male Victims

Due to cultural norms that require men to present a strong facade and that minimize female-perpetrated abuse.

Individuals who are controlling of their partners are much more likely to also be physically assaultive, and this holds equally for both male and female perpetrators.

Societal norms support female-perpetrated abuse in the home.

Structural power does not necessarily translate to individual power.

Surveys find that men and women assault one another and strike the first blow at approximately equal rates.

Men and women engage in overall comparable levels of abuse and control, such as diminishing the partner's self-esteem, isolation and jealousy, using children and economic abuse; however, men engage in higher levels of sexual coercion and can more easily intimidate physically.

Rape / Sexual Assault

Three in four women (76%) who reported they had been raped and/or physically assaulted since age 18 said that an intimate partner (current or former husband, cohabiting partner, or date) committed the assault.

One in five (21%) women reported she had been raped or physically or sexually assaulted in her lifetime.


Annually in the United States, 503,485 women are stalked by an intimate partner.

One in 12 women and one in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime, for an average duration of almost two years

Seventy-eight percent of stalking victims are women. Women are significantly more likely than men (60 percent and 30 percent, respectively) to be stalked by intimate partners.

Eighty percent of women who are stalked by former husbands are physically assaulted by that partner and 30 percent are sexually assaulted by that partner.

Victims may experience psychological trauma, financial hardship, and even death.

Seventy-six percent of female homicide victims were stalked prior to their death.

Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement

On average, 21% of female victims and 10% of male victims of nonfatal partner violence contact an outside agency for assistance. Of those females and males contacting an outside agency, 45% contact a private agency.

On average, only 70% of nonfatal partner violence is reported to law enforcement. Of those not reporting, 41% of male and 27% of female victims (34% average) stated victimization being a private/personal matter as reason for not reporting, 15% of women feared reprisal, 12% of all victims wished to protect the offender, and 6% of all victims believed police would do nothing.


National Statistics (sources included)
Domestic Violence Statistics - National / Oregon



Other statistics, resources, services, ideas:

Document the Abuse with an "Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit"
by Susan Murphy Milano --

50 Facts About Domestic Violence -- from Huffington Post, 2012

why we started this site
together we can heal
help stop child abuse
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join us, get involved