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Domestic Violence

Definition: Domestic violence involves violence or abuse by one person against another in a familial or intimate relationship.

Domestic violence is most commonly thought of as intimate partner violence, but can also include violence or abuse from a family member.

Description

The term “intimate partner violence” includes the following acts as inflicted or caused by a current or former intimate partner:

  • Actual or threats of physical violence
  • Actual or threats of sexual violence
  • Emotional or psychological abuse (e.g., name calling or putdowns, threats to “out” a person’s sexual orientation to family, work or friends)
  • Stalking (e.g., excessive calls/texts/emails, monitoring daily activities, using technology to track a person’s location)
  • Financial abuse (e.g., withholding money, ruining credit, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job)
  • Threats to “out” a person’s sexual orientation to family, work or friends

Intimate partners can include:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Boyfriends or girlfriends
  • Dating partners
  • Sexual partners

Domestic violence can occur in heterosexual and same-sex relationships.



Statistics and Facts

National Domestic Violence Statistics

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
  • 1 in 10 women in the United States will be raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
    • Approximately 16.9% of women and 8.0% of men will experience sexual violence other than rape by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
      • Data on sexual violence against men may be underreported.
  • An estimated 10.7% of women and 2.1% of men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
  • Nearly half of all women and men in the United States will experience psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
  • Over half of female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age. (CDC, 2010)

Domestic Violence Experienced by Race/Ethnicity

  • 4 in 10 women of non-Hispanic Black, American Indian or Alaska Native race/ethnicity and 1 in 2 multiracial non-Hispanic women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)

Domestic Violence and Sexual Orientation

  • 2 in 5 lesbian women, 3 in 5 bisexual women, and 1 in 3 heterosexual women will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
  • 1 in 4 gay men, 1 in 3 bisexual men, and 3 in 10 heterosexual men will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)
  • 1 in 5 bisexual women and 1 in 10 heterosexual women will be raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010)

Domestic Violence in New York City

  • Intimate partner homicide accounts for half of all NYC family-related homicides. (NYC DV Fatality Review Committee, 2014)
  • The New York City Police Department responds to approximately 280,000 domestic incidents each year. (NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Fact Sheet, 2015)

Be Inspired - Kelly Helps Victims Become Survivors

A shocking incident while student teaching inspired Kelly Coyne to pursue a career helping domestic violence survivors. Now she is vice president of our shelters.
Read Kelly's story →

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