U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Violence

In 2008, an estimated 4.9 million nonfatal violent crimes were committed in the United States. Males were more likely than females to experience nonfatal violent crime victimization overall (21.3 versus 17.3 per 1,000 persons aged 12 and older; data not shown),1 however, females were more likely to report nonfatal intimate partner violence than males (4.3 versus 0.8 per 1,000 persons aged 12 and older).

Intimate partner violence (IPV) refers to any physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. IPV can take on many forms and vary in frequency and severity, ranging from threats of abuse to chronic, severe battering. IPV often is underreported, especially with regard to sexual and psychological violence.

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects data on victimization based on household and individual surveys, the rate of nonfatal intimate partner violence has decreased dramatically among both males and females since the early 1990’s. Among females aged 12 and older, nonfatal IPV has decreased 53 percent from 9.2 per 1,000 females in 1993 to 4.3 per 1,000 females in 2008.

In 2007, females with disabilities reported higher rates of violent crime victimization than females without disabilities. Nearly 35 per 1,000 females aged 12 and older with disabilities (age-adjusted) experienced violent crime victimization; this was nearly twice the rate of females without disabilities (18.9 per 1,000; data not shown).2

Among female victims of violent crimes, the relationship of the victim to the offender varied by disability status. For instance, more than one-quarter of nonfatal violent crimes committed against females without disabilities were by an intimate partner, compared to 16.1 percent of crimes against females with disabilities. Females with disabilities were more likely to be victims of crimes committed by strangers than females without disabilities (33.5 versus 24.2 percent, respectively), and by non-intimate relatives, such as parents, siblings or cousins (12.5 versus 8.7 percent, respectively).

1 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.  Criminal Victimization, 2008.  (NCJ 227777) September 2009.  http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/cv08, accessed 12/14/09.
2 The victimization rate for females with disabilities was age-adjusted to be comparable to the unadjusted victimization rate for the population of females without disabilities.

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