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Violence against women – Washington State Department of Health

Data & Statistics

National Data

  • One in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.
    (Source: Sexual Assault Experiences and Perceptions of Community Response to Sexual Assault, 2001)
  • One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
    (Source: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
  • On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.
    (Source: Family Violence Prevention Fund)
  • Every nine seconds, a woman is beaten in the United States.
    (Source: American Institute on Domestic Violence 2001)
  • Women ages 20-34 endure the highest rates of domestic violence.
    (Source: American Institute on Domestic Violence 2001)
  • Only about one in five domestic violence victims with physical injuries seek professional medical treatment.
    (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  • Sexual violence starts very early in life. More than half of all rapes of women (54%) occur before age 18; 22% of these rapes occur before age 12.
    (Source: Tjaden and Thoennes, 2000)
  • Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of injury to women. It affects 1-3 million women a year in the U.S., making it more common than muggings, stranger rapes and car accidents combined.
    (Source: Frisso JA et al., 1996. Tjaden P, Thoennes N, 1998)
  • Domestic crime against adults accounts for almost 15% of total crime costs: over $67 billion per year.
    (Source: Victim Cost and Consequences: A New Look. National Institute of Justice Research Report, Jan. 1996)

Washington State Data

  • Approximately 1 of every 6 adult women in Washington has been a victim of one or more completed forcible rapes during their lifetime.
    (Source: Rape in Washington: A Report to the State)
  • One in five Washington women reports being injured by domestic violence sometime in her lifetime.
    (Source: The Health of Washington State Domestic Violence, 2004)
  • At least 30% of all female homicide victims in Washington State are killed by a current or former intimate partner.
    (Source: www.wscadv.org/projects/FR/Media_Guide.pdf)
  • Between 1997 and 2001, more than half of the people murdered in domestic violence-related homicides were woman killed by their current or former husbands or boyfriends.
    (Source: www.wscadv.org/projects/FR/Media_Guide.pdf)
  • Of the nearly 500,000 men and women in State prisons for a violent crime in 1997, 15% were there for a violent crime against a family member.
    (Source: www.wscadv.org/projects/FR/Media_Guide.pdf)

Health Care and Violence

  • An estimated 10% – 20% of emergency department visits by women with intimate partners are a result of domestic violence.
    (Source: The Health of Washington State Domestic Violence, 2004)
  • 50% of all mental health care dollars are spent on adults who were abused as children.
    (Source: Victimization Costs and Consequences: A New Look. National institute of Justice 1996)
  • In an HMO study, abused women cost the plan 92% more than the general female population.
    (Source: Wisner, C.L., Gilmer, T.P., Saltzman, L.E., and Zink, T.M. Intimate partner violence against women: Do victims cost health plans more? Journal of Family Practice 48(6): 439-43)
  • More than 50% of abused women present with the following symptoms: fatigue, depression, anxiety, chest pain, back pain, abdominal pain, sleep disorder, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, headaches, decreased appetite, dizziness.
    (Source: Sutherland, C et al., 1998)
  • More than one third of sexual assault victims and battered women experience symptoms of depression.
    (Source: Toolkit to End Violence Against Women)
  • 46% of domestic violence victims have symptoms of anxiety disorder.
    (Source: Toolkit to End Violence Against Women)
  • If an injured victim of domestic violence is treated by a physician or nurse who does not inquire about abuse or who accepts an unlikely explanation of the injuries, and the patient then returns to the abusive situation and sustains further injuries, the physician or nurse could consequently be held liable for those injuries.
    (Source: AMA Guidelines on Domestic Violence, 1992)