Department of Family & Support Services
City Services

General Facts About Domestic Violence

Prevalence

  • Nearly one-third of American women report being physically abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
  • Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.
  • While men can be victims of domestic violence, women are up to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.
  • Approximately 450,000 seniors in domestic settings were abused and/or neglected.
  • There were 5,046 cases of lesbian, gay, and transgender (LGBT) related domestic violence in a national nine region area including Chicago.
  • On an average day in the U.S., more than three women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.

Sexual Assault

Three in four women who reported they had been raped and/or physically assaulted since age 18 say that a current or former husband, partner or date committed the assault.

Stalking

Eighty percent of women who are stalked by former husbands are physically abused by that partner, and 30 percent are sexually assaulted by that partner.

Family/Children

  • More than half of female victims of intimate violence live in homes that include children under age 12.
  • In a national survey of more than 6,000 families in the U.S., 50 percent of husbands who assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children.
  • Each day in the United States, more than three children die as a result of child abuse in the home.

Youth

  • About one in five female high school students reports being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
  • Forty percent of girls age 14-17 report knowing someone their age who was hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

Seniors

  • In almost 90% of the senior abuse incidents, the perpetrator is a family member, and two-thirds of the perpetrators are adult children or spouses.
  • Some experts estimate that only one out of 14 domestic senior abuse incidents comes to the attention of authorities.

Health

  • Each year in the U.S., about 240,000 pregnant women are battered by the men in their lives.
  • One in five pregnant women have a husband or boyfriend with a history of partner violence.
  • Domestic violence is five times more likely to affect women than the most prevalent communicable disease in Chicago.
  • Thirty-seven percent of women who sought emergency-room treatment of violence-related injuries. in 1994 were injured by a current or former spouse or partner.

Business

In addition to the staggering human toll, domestic violence costs the U.S. economy more than $100 million annually in lost wages, absenteeism and sick leave. Medical expenses resulting from domestic violence total as much as $5 billion annually.