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Direct experience and many academic studies agree that the nexus of intimate partner violence and child abuse is undeniable. Especially troubling is the fact that children who are abused are twice as likely to be abused or perpetrate abuse as adults. This finding makes the direct link between child abuse and domestic violence obvious: it is a cycle of violence that leads from one generation to the next.  It is clear that if we are to stop domestic violence, we must end child abuse.

A devastating impact of violence in the home is that it spills over into our schools, neighborhoods and workplaces.  Solving the problem of domestic violence and children growing up in violent homes is critical to solving greater social issues of violence in our community.

Each year, the National Network to End Domestic Violence takes a 24-hour snapshot of domestic violence services in the United States. The report provides a glimpse of collective work of domestic violence agencies across the country. Read the 2013 report.


domestic violence victims

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be abused by an intimate partner.
  • 2 out of 5 gay and bisexual men experience abusive partner relationships.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • In the United States, more than 3 women per day are murdered by their husbands or partners.
  • Approximately 4 million women suffer physical abuse by an intimate partner annually.
  • It is the most common cause of injury for women ages 18 to 44.
  • 50% of lesbian women have experienced or will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
  • In one year 6.6 million people are victims of stalking. In one year, 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner.
  • On average, a victim attempts to leave 7 times before finally leaving for good.
  • The most lethal time in an abusive relationship is after a victim leaves. More than 70% of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has gotten out.
  • Communities that are more likely to have residents who experience intimate partner violence and other forms of violence are neighborhoods where there is low cohesion, where residents don’t support and trust each other, where people are socially isolated, or where residents don’t have support from family, friends, or neighbors.
  • Violence in LGBTQ relationships is immensely underreported due to fear of homophobia, transphobia or sexism.

Economic impact

  • Domestic violence costs the U.S. economy $8.3 billion in expenses annually: a combination of higher medical costs ($5.8 billion) and lost productivity ($2.5 billion).
  • Victims lost an estimated 8 million paid work days in the U.S. because of domestic violence -- equivalent to 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children.
  • More than 90% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
  • Domestic violence is more than 3 times as likely to occur when couples are experiencing high levels of financial strain as when they are experiencing low levels of financial strain.
  • 73% of shelters attributed the rise in abuse to “financial issues”. “Stress” and “job loss” (61% and 49% respectively) were also frequently cited as causing the increase in victims seeking shelter.
  • Women victims are more likely to be diagnosed with serious health problems including depression, panic attacks, high risk behaviors such as tobacco and substance abuse and sexual risk taking, as well as migraines, chronic pain, arthritis, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, inconsistent use of birth control, and delayed entry into personal care.

child Abuse & family violence

  • A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
  • In 2012, an estimated 686,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect nationwide .
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the multi-generational cycle of violence.
  • Almost 5 children die every day as a result of child abuse. More than 3 out of 4 are under the age of 4.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • Children exposed to domestic violence, child abuse and other trauma will suffer more illnesses and injuries throughout their lives and have a shorter life expectancy.
  • 50% of men who frequently assault their wives frequently assault their children.
  • 15.5 million children in the U.S. live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year.

teen dating violence

  • 1 in 3 teens are affected by teen dating violence.
  • 50% - 80% of teens report knowing someone involved in a violent relationship.
  • 30% of adolescent girls (ages 15 to 19) who are murdered every year in the USA die by the hands of an abusive partner.
  • Young women, ages 16-24, experience the highest rates of relationship violence.
  • Teen victims of dating violence are more likely to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy diet behaviors, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt or consider suicide.


  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Futures Without Violence
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence
  • Child Help
  • Office on Violence Against Women
  • City of New York, Teen Relationship Abuse Fact Sheet
  • Children's Bureau