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Sexual Violence: Data Sources

Quick Facts

CDC Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
    The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world's largest on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984. The health departments of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands conduct the survey. CDC offers two optional modules to the BRFSS, an 8-question module on sexual violence and a 7-question module on intimate partner violence. Data are available from 2005 to 2007.

  • National Violence Against Women Survey
    To further the understanding of violence against women, the National Institute of Justice and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, jointly sponsored the National Violence Against Women Survey. Interviews were obtained from 8,000 women and 8,005 men who were 18 years of age or older residing in households throughout the United States in 1996. Respondents were asked about (1) their general fear of violence; (2) emotional abuse they had experienced by marital or cohabiting partners; (3) physical assault they had experienced as children by adult caretakers; (4) physical assault they had experienced as adults by any type of perpetrator; (5) forcible rape or stalking they had experienced by any type of perpetrator; and (6) threatened violence they had experienced by any type of perpetrator. The following reports were generated from the survey data: Information on additional reports and products related to the National Violence Against Women Survey is available from National Institute of Justice.

  • National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP)
    NEISS-AIP provides nationally representative data about all types and causes of nonfatal injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. CDC uses NEISS-AIP data to generate national estimates of nonfatal injuries, including those related to sexual violence.

  • National Violent Death Reporting System
    CDC has funded 18 states and established the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) to gather, share, and link state-level data on violent deaths. NVDRS provides CDC and states with a more complete understanding of violent deaths. This enables policy makers and community leaders to make informed decisions about violence prevention programs, including those that address intimate partner violence.

  • National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ), and the Department of Defense (DoD) has developed a telephone survey, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). Beginning in 2010, NISVS will collect ongoing population-based surveillance data, generating accurate and reliable incidence and prevalence estimates for intimate partner violence, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking victimization IPV, SV, dating violence, and stalking victimization.

  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
    CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability, including intimate partner violence (in the form of teen dating abuse), among young people in the United States.

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Other Federal Data Sources

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Since the 1930s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been collecting data on crime in the United States. Each year, the FBI publishes a summary of Crime in the United States, Hate Crime Statistics, special studies, reports, and monographs.

  • National Crime Victimization Survey
    National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the primary source of information on criminal victimization in the United States. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of 77,200 households comprising nearly 134,000 persons on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey enables the Bureau of Justice Statistics to estimate the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft. This information is provided for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders.

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Non-Federal Data Sources

  • National Comorbidity Study
    The baseline National Comorbidity Study, fielded from fall 1990 to spring 1992, was the first nationally representative mental health survey in the United States to use a fully structured research diagnostic interview to assess the prevalences and correlates of DSM-III-R disorders.

  • National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
    The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a nationally representative study that explores the causes of health-related behaviors of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 and their outcomes in young adulthood. Add Health seeks to examine how social contexts (families, friends, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities) influence adolescents' health and risk behaviors.

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Additional Resources

Journal Articles

  • Basile KC. Prevalence of wife rape and other intimate partner sexual coercion in a nationally representative sample of women. Violence and Victims 2002;17(5):511–524.
  • Basile KC, Chen J, Black MC, Saltzman LE. Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence victimization among U.S. adults 2001-2003. Violence and Victims 2007; 22(4):437–448.
  • Elliott DM, Mok DS, Briere J. Adult sexual assault: prevalence, symptomatology, and sex differences in the general population. Journal of Traumatic Stress 2004;17(3):203–211.
  • Fisher BS, Cullen FT, Turner MG. The sexual victimization of college women. Washington: Department of Justice (US), National Institute of Justice; 2000. Publication No. NCJ 182369. Available from: http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf [PDF 959 KB] or http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/svcw.txt
  • Kaysen D, Clayton N, Martell J, Fossos N, Larimer M. Incapacitated rape and alcohol use: A prospective analysis. Addicted Behaviors 2006;31:1820–1832.
  • Kilpatrick DG, Resnick HS, Ruggiero KJ, Conoscenti LM, McCauley J. Drug-facilitated, incapacitated, and forcible rape: A national study. Washington: Department of Justice (US); 2007. Publication No. NCJ 219181. Available on-line at http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219181.pdf.
  • Lisak D, Miller PM. Repeat rape and multiple offending among undetected rapists. Violence and Victim. 2002;17(1):73–84.
  • Saltzman LE, Basile KC, Mahendra R, Steenkamp M, Ingram E, Ikeda R. National Estimates of Sexual Violence Treated in Emergency Departments. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2007; 49(2):210–217.
  • Suris A, Lind L. Military sexual trauma: A review of prevalence and associated health consequences in veterans. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 2008; 9:250–269.

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