Government Agency Navigation

Violence Against Women: Initiate Partner Violence

Narrative

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been defined as physical violence, sexual violence, threats of physical or sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression by a current or former intimate partner. IPV can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.1,2 In 2010, 35.6 percent of adult women aged 18 years and older, or 42.4 million women, reported having experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime while nearly 6 percent reported at least one of these experiences in the past 12 months.

Of these forms of IPV, lifetime experience of physical violence was most commonly reported by women (32.9 percent), followed by stalking (10.7 percent), and rape (9.4 percent). While rape and stalking were less commonly reported among men, 28.5 percent of adult men reported having experienced any IPV in their lifetime.

Psychological aggression is a common form of IPV experienced by nearly half of all women and men during their lifetime. Women who experienced psychological aggression reported being called names (64.3 percent), insulted or humiliated (58.0 percent), witnessing anger by their intimate partner that seemed dangerous (57.9 percent), and facing demands to know where she was and what she was doing (61.7 percent). In addition, 8.6 percent of women reported that an intimate partner tried to get them pregnant when they did not want to or refused to use a condom (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

IPV has been associated with a range of both short- and long-term health and social consequences. 3 Among women who have experienced IPV, 80.8 percent reported at least one IPV-related impact, such as injury, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or missing work or school. The most commonly reported impacts were fearfulness (72.2 percent), PTSD symptoms (62.6 percent), and concern for safety (62.3 percent).

1 Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Center: Violence Prevention – Intimate Partner Violence. Accessed 08/27/12.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Center: Violence Prevention – Intimate Partner Violence: Consequences. Accessed 08/27/12.

Graphs

Data

Past Year and Lifetime Prevalence of Rape, Physical Violence, and Stalking by an Intimate Partner Among Adults Aged 18 and Older, by Sex, 2010
Intimate Partner Violence Percent of Adults
Female Male
*Estimate does not meet the standards of reliability or precision. Source: Black, MC, Basile, KC, Breiding, MJ, Smith, SG, Walters, ML, Merrick, MT, Chen, J, & Stevens, MR (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Past 12 Months - Rape, Physical Violence, and/or Stalking 5.9 5.0
Past 12 Months - Rape 0.6 *
Past 12 Months - Physical Violence 4.0 4.7
Past 12 Months - Stalking 2.8 0.5
Lifetime - Rape, Physical Violence, and/or Stalking 35.6 28.5
Lifetime - Rape 9.4 *
Lifetime - Physical Violence 32.9 28.2
Lifetime - Stalking 10.7 2.1

Impacts of Intimate Partner Violence Among Female Victims Aged 18 and Older,* 2010

Percent of IPV Victims:

  • Any Reported Impacts: 80.8
  • Fearful: 72.2
  • Any PTSD Symptoms**: 62.6
  • Concerned for safety: 62.3
  • Injury: 41.6
  • Missed at least 1 day school/work: 28
  • Needed medical care: 22.1
  • Needed legal services: 21.2
  • Needed victim's advocate services: 7.5
  • Needed housing services: 6.9
  • Contacted a crisis hotline: 5.9
  • Became pregnant†: 4.8
  • Contracted STD†: 4.3

*Includes rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner.
**Includes nightmares; tried not to think about or avoided being reminded of; felt constantly on guard, watchful, or easily startled; felt numb or detached.
†Asked only of those who reported rape by an intimate partner.

Source: Black, MC, Basile, KC, Breiding, MJ, Smith, SG, Walters, ML, Merrick, MT, Chen, J, & Stevens, MR (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.