Intimate Partner Violence


A forcible rape occurs in the United States once every five minutes. (1)

Over the five years from 1989 to 1993, the occurrence of forcible rape has increased 11 percent. (3)

The occurrence of forcible rape decreased 5 percent from 1994 to 1995 to 102,216. That means that almost 300 rapes are committed every day in the United States. (2)

While women living in cities are statistically the most often victimized by forcible rape, the greatest increase in the occurrence of rape has taken place in cities outside standard metropolitan areas. In those communities, the rate of occurrence has increased 90 percent in the last decade. (4)

Four in every ten persons arrested for forcible rape is under 25 years of age.(5)

In 1995, a woman was murdered during a forcible rape once every 4.5 days.(6)

Women between the ages of 12 and 24 are most often victimized by rape.

Women in this age group are nearly three times more likely to be raped than women in older age groups. (7)

Nearly 2 in three female victims of violence were related to or knew their attacker.(8)

About half of all rapes of women involved an assailant known to the victim (9), and over two thirds of all violent victimization of women is committed by someone the woman knows.(10)

Almost 6 times as many women who are victimized by someone known to them did not report their violent victimization to police because they feared reprisal from the offender.(11)

Among all female murder victims in 1995, 26 percent were slain by husbands or wives or girlfriends killed boyfriends, while three percent of male victims. (12)

An estimated 4 million women in the US are severely abused every year by their spouse or partner. That translates into seven incidents of spousal or partner abuse every sixty seconds. (13)

It is estimated that between 20 and 30 percent of the adult women visiting hospital emergency rooms are there due to battering. There are about 1,200 battered women's shelters nationwide, but demand far outpaces supply and women in rural areas have little or no access to such shelters. (14)

More than 700,000 women aged 45 to 65 were physically abused by spouses in 1993, and nearly 400,000 older women in institutions were victims of physical or sexual abuse. (15)

Information Sources

(1-6, 10) Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States 1995, Uniform Crime Reports, US Department of Justice, 1996.

(7) Bureau of Justice Statistics. Violence Against Women. US Department of Justice, 1991.

(8) Bureau of Justice Statistics. Violence Against Women. US Department of Justice, 1994.

(9) Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Crime Victimization Survey 1973-92. US Department of Justice, 1993.

(10-11) Bachman, R. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report. US Department of Justice, January, 1994.

12-14) Violence Against Women class presentation. Nancy Isaac, SC.D and Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD Harvard School of Public Health.

(15) Christian Science Monitor, July 28, 1994