The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report, Intimate Partner Violence in the United States 2010, based on data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which documents the alarming prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.
The NISVS survey and CDC report reach beyond mere numbers and is the first national study to ask questions designed to illuminate some of the context of victimization.
“The new report not only tells us the appalling number of domestic violence victims but provides in-depth details on the true consequences for victims and identifies the help they need,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Among other things, the report includes important data on victims’ economic security and needs:
- Women and men who experienced food insecurity or housing insecurity in the past 12 months had a significantly higher 12-month prevalence of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner compared to women and men who did not experience food insecurity or housing insecurity.
- 51.5% of the victims who identified a need for housing services did not receive them.
- 1 in 10 women and nearly 1 in 25 men who have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, missed work or school as a result of intimate partner violence.
- Individuals with lower incomes are disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence.
“Victims who struggle to meet their own basic needs for food and housing are clearly more vulnerable to continued abuse,” continued Gandy. “Poverty is an abuser’s co-conspirator, helping to keep a victim trapped. As a society, we have to make sure that victims don’t have to choose between further abuse and living on the street.”
The report also confirms the severe consequences of domestic violence, especially for female victims. Female victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking not only experienced a greater number of discrete violent incidents, but were also significantly more likely than male victims to experience each of the IPV-related impacts measured, including fear, concern for safety, injury, need for medical care, need for housing services, and having missed time from work or school.
In addition, the study explored victims’ need for and access to help and services: 34% of female victims indicated that they needed services such as medical care and legal services, as well as housing services, victim’s advocate services and community services, and 15.6% of males indicated that they needed such services. The report indicated that many victims did not receive any of the services they needed.
“These findings mirror what we find in the NNEDV Domestic Violence Counts Census report each year. While over 60,000 victims receive services in that 24-hour count, another 10,000 requests for services go unmet because programs lack the resources,” said Gandy. “This new data confirms that we need additional funding for services, outreach, training and prevention.”
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