Serious Intimate Partner Violence Against Females Declined 72 percent from 1994 to 2011

Percentage involving physical attacks, weapons and injury showed little change

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious intimate partner violence, such as rape, sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault, declined 72 percent for females, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. During the same time, the percentage of female intimate partner victims who were physically attacked, attacked with a weapon, injured or required medical treatment remained relatively stable.

Nonfatal intimate partner violence includes serious violence and simple assault committed by an offender who is the victim's current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. The severity of intimate partner violence is measured by the type of violent crime, type of physical attack, whether the victim was threatened before the attack, presence of a weapon, victim injury and medical treatment. Estimates of nonfatal violence are based on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects self-reported information from victims of crime.

During the most recent 10-year period (2002–11), the offender physically attacked the victim in more than two-thirds of intimate partner victimizations against females (67 percent). In about half of female victimizations (52 percent), the intimate partner threatened to harm the victim prior to the physical attack. In addition, about 5 percent of female victims were hit by an object their intimate partner held or threw at them, 36 percent were grabbed, held, tripped, jumped on or pushed, and 8 percent suffered sexual violence.

In 2011, 18 percent of intimate partner victimizations against females involved a weapon, similar to the percentage observed in 1994. In 2002–11, about 4 percent of nonfatal female intimate partner victims were shot at, stabbed or hit with a weapon. About half of intimate partner victimizations against females resulted in physical injury, with 13 percent suffering serious physical injury such as gun shot or knife wounds, internal injuries, unconsciousness or broken bones.

Between 2002 and 2011, about 18 percent of female intimate partner victimizations resulted in medical treatment for victim injuries.

In addition to estimates for nonfatal female victimizations, the report includes for comparison the number of homicides committed by intimates, estimates of nonfatal male intimate partner violence and nonintimate partner violence.

Estimates of male intimate partner violence include—

  • From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious violence (rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault) committed by an intimate partner declined 64 percent for males.
  • During the most recent 10-year period (2002–11), nonfatal serious violence accounted for more than a third of intimate partner violence against males (39 percent).
  • Aggravated assault (22 percent) accounted for the largest percentage of serious intimate partner violence against males, followed by robbery (16 percent). Rape or sexual assault (1 percent) accounted for the smallest percentage of intimate violence experienced by males.
  • Sixty-five percent of male victims of intimate partner violence were physically attacked by the offender, and in almost a third of male victimizations (31 percent) the intimate partner threatened to harm the victim before the physical attack.
  • A weapon was present in 27 percent of male intimate partner victimizations, and about 8 percent of males victimized by an intimate partner were shot at, stabbed, or hit with a weapon.

Of the 3,032 homicides involving female victims in 2010 (the most recent year), 39 percent were committed by an intimate, 37 percent by a nonintimate and 24 percent by an offender with an unknown relationship to the victim. Among the 10,878 homicide incidents involving male victims in 2010, three percent were committed by an intimate, 48 percent by a nonintimate and 50 percent by an offender with an unknown relationship to the victim.

The report, Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes of Victimization, 1993–2011 (NCJ 243300), was written by BJS statistician Shannan Catalano. The report, related documents and additional information about BJS statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at

SOURCE Bureau of Justice Statistics

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