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Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1998
16 pages
Publication Series
A national telephone survey on violence against women was conducted from November 1995 to May 1996 so as to determine the experiences of 8,000 women and 8,000 men regarding rape, physical assault, and stalking; this report focuses on the victimization experiences of the women respondents.
The study provides empirical data on the prevalence and incidence of rape, physical assault, and stalking; the prevalence of male-to-female and female-to-male intimate partner violence; the prevalence of rape and physical assault among women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds; the rate of injury among rape and physical assault victims; and injured victims' use of medical services. Using a definition of physical assault that includes a range of behaviors, from slapping and hitting to using a gun, the survey found that physical assault is widespread among American women; 52 percent of surveyed women said they were physically assaulted as a child by an adult caretaker and/or as an adult by any type of perpetrator. Based on estimates, approximately 1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United States. Using a definition of rape that includes forced vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse, the survey found that rape is a crime committed primarily against youth; 18 percent of women surveyed said they experienced a completed or attempted rape at some time in their lives, and 0.3 percent said they experienced a completed or attempted rape in the previous 12 months. American Indian/Alaska Native women were most likely to report rape and physical assault victimization, and Asian/Pacific Islander women were least likely to report rape and physical assault victimization. Women experience significantly more partner violence than do men; violence against women is primarily partner violence. Further, women are significantly more likely than men to be injured during an assault. Eight percent of surveyed women and 2 percent of surveyed men said they were stalked at some time in their lives. 16 statistical exhibits and 24 notes

Date Published: November 1, 1998