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New Data on Domestic and Sexual Violence

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, according to new findings released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story – more than 1 million women are raped in a year, and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are major public health problems in the United States. In addition, they underscore the heavy toll that violence takes on Americans, particularly women.

Photo: A man and womanThe National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) is one of CDC's newest public health surveillance systems and is designed to better describe and monitor the magnitude of sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence victimization in the United States. It is the first survey of its kind to provide simultaneous national and state-level prevalence estimates of violence for all states. Additionally, it provides data on several types of violence that have not previously been measured in a national population-based survey. The state-level estimates provide important information about the proportion of men and women with victimization histories currently residing in a state. This information can help states better understand the burden of violence in their populations and address health consequences that result from these forms of violence. Additional information on state-level data can be found on the NISVS web site.

"The health problems caused by violence remind us of the importance of prevention", said Howard Spivak, MD, Director of CDC's Injury Center Division of Violence Prevention. "In addition to intervening and providing services, prevention efforts need to start earlier in life, with the ultimate goal of preventing all of these types of violence before they start." When developing sound programs for prevention and intervention, it is critical to understand the conditions that increase risk for perpetration and victimization. NISVS provides data that can help inform policies and programs aimed at the specific needs of state and national organizations and also monitor and measure the effectiveness of these efforts.

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  • Page last updated: December 14, 2011
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