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10 Facts on Female Victims of Violence

This month the Bureau of Justice Statistics released their latest report on Female Victims of Violence (PDF). The report focuses on intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, and stalking. It includes estimates of the extent of crimes against females and the characteristics of crimes and victims. The following 10 facts are a small sampling of findings from the report.  

  • In 2008, females age 12 or older were five times more likely than males age 12 or older to be victims of intimate partner violence. 
  • In 2007 intimate partners committed 14% of all homicides in the U.S.
  • The total estimated number of intimate partner homicide victims in 2007 was 2,340, including 1,640 females and 700 males.
  • Females made up 70% of victims killed by an intimate partner in 2007, a proportion that has changed very little since 1993.
  • Females are generally murdered by people they know. In 64% of female homicide cases in 2007, females were killed by a family member or intimate partner.
  • The overall rate of female homicides fell 43%  between 1993 and 2007.
  • Between 1993 and 2008 the rate of rape or sexual assault against females declined by 70% (from 4.7 to 1.4 per 1,000 females age 12 or older).    The rate of rape or sexual assault against males declined by 36% between 1993 and 2008 (from 0.5 to 0.3 per 1,000 males age 12 or older).
  • One in five rape or sexual assaults against females (20%) was committed by an intimate partner.
  • During a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006, an estimated 3.4 million persons age 18 or older were victims of stalking.
  • Females were at higher risk of stalking victimization than males.   During the study period, females experienced 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 or older. The rate of stalking victimization for males was approximately 7 per 1,000 males age 18 or older.

October has been recognized by President Obama and The Department of Justice as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The findings in this report, while not limited to domestic violence, certainly remind us of why awareness around this issue is so critical If you, or someone you know, are a victim of domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233), 800-787-3224 (TTY).


Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program's (UCR) Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR). The full report as a PDF is available at the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web site.

Updated April 27, 2017