Fact Sheet


Throughout California, across the nation, and around the world, domestic violence is nothing less than an epidemic. The following is merely a glimpse at the scope of this terrible societal problem, statistics which are indeed shocking and sad.


  • Estimates are that up to three million women nationwide are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend each year.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.
  • Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey.
  • Nearly 25 percent of American women report being raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey, conducted from November 1995 to May 1996.
  • In California, an average of 124 women per year are murdered at the hands of an intimate partner, and of these 45% were in the process of separating. In 76% of the cases involving a history of violence, family, friends or co-workers were aware of the abuse. In one out of five cases, a person other than the primary victim, often a child, was severely injured or killed at the time the murder of the woman took place.
  • Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.
  • More than 5.3 million American women per year are victims of nonfatal violence committed by an intimate partner.
  • Intimate partner violence is primarily a crime against women. Women account for 85 percent of the victims of intimate partner violence (588,490 total) and men account for approximately 15 percent of the victims (103,220 total).
  • While women are less likely than men to be victims of violent crimes overall, women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.
  • Intimate partner violence makes up 20 percent of violent crime against women each year.
  • As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.