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How many people get DV?

Domestic violence (DV) is a serious issue that affects millions of people each year. Determining accurate statistics on the prevalence of DV can be challenging, but data indicates it is a widespread problem. Understanding how common DV is can help bring awareness to this important issue and drive efforts to provide support and resources to victims.

Definition of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to a pattern of abusive behavior in intimate relationships used by one partner to gain power and control over another. It can include physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological abuse. DV occurs between current or former spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, and dating partners. It affects people of all genders, ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Some specific forms of domestic violence include:

– Physical abuse – hitting, slapping, punching, choking, pushing, etc.

– Sexual abuse – forcing a partner to engage in sexual acts against their will

– Emotional/verbal abuse – yelling, name-calling, humiliation, intimidation, threats of violence

– Financial abuse – restricting access to money, destroying property, identity theft

– Digital abuse – monitoring phone/computer use, cyberbullying, revenge porn

– Stalking – harassing, threatening, spying on a partner

– Reproductive coercion – tampering with birth control, pressure to get pregnant

– Intimidation – making threats, harming pets, displaying weapons

National Statistics on Domestic Violence

Several organizations conduct ongoing surveys and research to track rates of domestic violence in the United States. Here are some key national statistics:


– 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc. over their lifetimes. (CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey)

– 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

– 19% of women and 5% of men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime in a way that made them feel very fearful or made them believe they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed. (National Stalking Resource Center)

– On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive over 19,000 calls. (National Network to End Domestic Violence)

– The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%. (Center for American Progress)


– Most victims of domestic violence are women – 1 in 4 women vs. 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc. over their lifetimes. (CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey)

– Domestic victimization is prevalent across race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, education level, and sexual orientation. However, certain marginalized groups are at higher risk.

– Native American women are victimized at nearly double the rate of other ethnicities. (NIJ)

– Multiracial non-Hispanic women report higher rates of domestic violence than single-race women. (CDC)

– Lower income women experience higher rates of domestic violence. (NIJ)


The effects of domestic violence can be devastating and long-lasting:

– 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. (NCADV)

– 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey)

– 1 in 6 homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner. Of those, 70% are women killed by a male partner. (Violence Policy Center)

– Crime data from 16 states indicated that approximately 35% of female homicide victims were killed by male intimate partners. (Violence Policy Center)

– 72% of all murder-suicides are perpetrated by intimate partners, with 94% of the victims female. (Violence Policy Center)

– Access to firearms yields a 5-fold increased risk of intimate partner femicide. (CDC Report)

– Domestic violence results in nearly 2 million injuries and nearly 1,300 deaths annually. (CDC)

– The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, including medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity. (CDC)

– Witnessing domestic violence causes significant psychological harm in children and contributes to more than half of youth suicide attempts. (American Academy of Pediatrics)

State and Regional DV Statistics

While national domestic violence statistics help provide a big-picture view of the issue, looking at local data can offer more specifics. Rates of domestic violence vary from state-to-state and region-to-region based on factors like demographics, resources, laws, and awareness.


– In California, nearly 40% of women experience physical intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. (CADE)

– Domestic violence homicides account for approximately 18% of all homicides in California. (California Department of Public Health)

– California law enforcement received 169,362 domestic violence calls in 2020 – over 13,000 per month on average. (California Department of Justice)

– In 2020, California domestic violence programs provided emergency shelter to 4,788 adults and children and answered over 120,000 crisis calls. (California Partnership to End Domestic Violence)


– The rate of women murdered by men in domestic violence incidents in Texas is 40% higher than the national average. (Violence Policy Center)

– In 2021, there were 214,938 family violence incidents reported to Texas law enforcement. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

– Family violence fatalities have increased in Texas over the past 5 years, with 242 deaths reported in 2021 compared to 194 in 2017. (Texas Council on Family Violence)

– Texas domestic violence programs answered over 140,000 hotline calls in 2021. (Texas Council on Family Violence)

New York

– In New York state, 35.3% of women and 28.1% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape, and/or intimate partner stalking during their lifetimes. (CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey)

– In 2020, there were nearly 60 intimate partner homicides in New York state. Of those, 53 victims were female and 7 victims were male. (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services)

– New York City’s domestic violence hotline received approximately 260,000 calls in 2021 – over 700 per day. (Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence)


– Florida ranks in the top 10 states for men murdering women in single victim/single offender incidents. (Violence Policy Center)

– In 2020, 108,373 domestic violence offenses were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies. (FDLE)

– Florida domestic violence centers provided emergency shelter to 12,105 victims in 2020. (FCADV)

– Florida law enforcement responded to 234,295 domestic-related calls in 2020 – over 640 per day on average. (FCADV)

Groups at High Risk

While domestic violence impacts people of all ages, genders, races and backgrounds, some groups face heightened risk and vulnerability. Understanding and addressing the unique needs of higher-risk populations is key for prevention and intervention.

Teens/Young Adults

– Women ages 16-24 experience domestic violence at rates almost triple the national average. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence)

– 13% of adolescent girls experience physical dating violence each year; 38% experience psychological abuse. (Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics)

– 52% of college women report experiencing dating violence including physical, sexual, tech, verbal or other forms of abuse. (Know Your IX)

LGBTQ Community

– 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by a partner, compared to 35% of heterosexual women. (CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey)

– 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by a partner, compared to 29% of heterosexual men. (CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey)

– Nearly half of transgender people experience sexual assault during their lifetimes. (National Center for Transgender Equality)


– 48.1% of Latinas in one study reported that their partner’s violence against them increased after they immigrated to the U.S. (NIH)

– Immigrant victims may face language barriers, lack of awareness of legal rights, fear of deportation, and limited access to support services.

– Undocumented immigrant victims are half as likely to work with law enforcement against abusers. (NIWAP)

Native American Women

– More than 4 in 5 Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, with 56% experiencing sexual violence. (National Institute of Justice)

– Native women face murder rates more than 10 times the national average on some reservations. (Indian Law Resource Center)

– Complex jurisdictional issues, rural isolation, and lack of services are barriers to safety for Native victims.

People with Disabilities

– People with disabilities experience abuse at nearly twice the rate of those without disabilities. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Crime Against People with Disabilities)

– 50% of people with psychiatric disabilities have experienced intimate partner violence. (National Resource Center on Domestic Violence)

– Abusers often exploit disabilities to exert control through coercion, limiting access to medications, preventing use of assistive devices, controlling money for care, and more.

Reporting of Domestic Violence

Despite high rates of occurrence, domestic violence remains chronically underreported. Many victims are reluctant to report abuse to authorities due to fear of retaliation, lack of resources, shame or stigma, language barriers, immigration status, or other concerns.

– Only about half (43-53%) of domestic violence incidents are reported to police annually. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

– Reporting rates are significantly lower when the offender is an intimate partner rather than a relative, acquaintance or stranger. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

– Victims who experience severe intimate partner violence are more likely to report than victims of less severe abuse. (BJS Special Report: Nonfatal Domestic Violence)

– Domestic violence in rural and isolated areas is vastly underreported. Victims face additional barriers when seeking help like geographic isolation, economic limitations, stigma, and lack of accessible services.

– Male victims report domestic violence incidents to police at even lower rates than female victims.

– Immigrant, minority, and LGBTQ victims are less likely to call law enforcement due to language barriers, fear of discrimination, and mistrust of authorities.

The Impact of DV Awareness Efforts

In recent decades, efforts have been made to improve public awareness, education, policy, and services related to domestic violence. Increased awareness and intervention has likely contributed to declines in DV rates over the past 25+ years. However, more progress is still needed.

– Reports of domestic violence increased 63% between 1993 and 2018. (BJS) This likely reflects greater awareness and reporting rather than more frequent occurrences.

– Nonfatal serious violence by intimate partners declined by 72% for women and 64% for men from 1994 to 2011. (BJS)

– Intimate partner homicides of females decreased by 26% between 1996 and 2016. Intimate partner homicides of males decreased by 3% in the same period. (CDC)

– All states have enacted laws against domestic violence and many states have adopted lethality screening protocols, firearms relinquishment policies, and workplace leave for victims.

– Thousands of community programs across the U.S. provide lifesaving services for those impacted by domestic abuse.

– Millions of dollars have been invested in prevention education targeting youth and young adults.


In summary, domestic violence is a highly prevalent issue affecting millions in the U.S. each year. However, great strides have been made in increasing awareness and improving support for victims. Reliable tracking of DV rates is complex, but data indicates 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men will experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. While women, minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, and other marginalized groups are at higher risk, domestic violence transcends all demographics. Ongoing advocacy, education, policy reform, and funding of support services remain essential to reducing the widespread impacts of domestic abuse. Only through continued awareness and understanding of this issue can we work collectively to end intimate partner violence.