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Violence and Abuse

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, there were over 2.2 million violent crimes committed against females aged 12 and older in the United States in 2004; this includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault. In 1993, the rate of violent victimization among men was 59.8 per 1,000 population and the rate among women was 40.7 per 1,000. Those rates had dropped to 25.0 and 18.8 per 1,000, respectively, in 2004. This follows the downward trend in violent crime victimization rates for women over the last decade.

Women are more likely than men to be victims of sexual assault and rape, while men are more likely to be victims of robbery and both types of assault. For all types of violent crime, women are more likely than men to know the offender. Among all rape and sexual assault cases in 2004, 67 percent of female victims were attacked by someone that they knew, either an intimate partner (17 percent), other relative (3 percent), or friend/acquaintance (31 percent). Another 31 percent were attacked by a stranger, while the victim/offender relationship in the remaining 2 percent of cases was not determined. Similarly, victims of 54 percent of robberies, 61 percent of aggravated assaults, and 66 percent of simple assaults knew their assailant.

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.