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Survey: 1 in 4 women violently attacked by partner

Purple ribbons are hung in October, 2011 to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Purple ribbons are hung in October, 2011 to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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Experts are astounded by a new large-scale survey on domestic violence and rape. It found 24 percent of women and 14 percent of men have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

The numbers on rape and attempted rape are not much lower: one in five women say they have been victims – a number much higher than Department of Justice statistics. The survey was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its first annual "National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey."

Linda Degutis with the CDC said, "It's the first time we've had this kind of estimate." The government agency is calling sexual & domestic violence a major public health problem for the country. It was conducted in 2010 by a randomized phone survey of 9,000 women and 7,400 men, approximately.

The findings go on to state that as many as 29 million women say they have suffered severe physical violence, defined as choking, beating, stabbing, slamming against something, hair-pulling or shooting. The number grows to 36 million when you include slapping and pushing. Those who work with abused women are less surprised by the results.


With numbers so high, who do you know that's a victim of sexual or domestic violence? Have you experienced it yourself? What are the ripple effects for individuals, families and society? What can be done with these findings? Why does the Justice Department have different statistics? How do the findings vary across the country? What are the prevention efforts, beyond bumper stickers, to help bring down these numbers?


Dr. Howard Spivak, M.D., Division Director, Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Astrid Heger, M.D., Executive Director, Violence Intervention Program at Los Angeles County & University of Southern California Medical Center; Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California