Domestic violence is an unfortunate reality that occurs within every class, age group, race, and religion. It happens in families, friendships, and intimate relationships. Intimate partner violence happens within same and different sex partnerships; it happens whether people are married, living together, or dating. Approximately one in four women has been a victim of domestic violence.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month - a time established to draw attention to this unspeakable crime and continue efforts to raise awareness and stop the violence.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women's advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels.
In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year the first national toll-free hotline was begun. In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. Such legislation has passed every year since.
The mission of the Domestic Violence Section is to work with units of government and local nonprofits to prevent, reduce and eradicate incidents of domestic violence. There are approximately 9 programs administered through this section, including the establishment and facilitation of the Domestic Violence Advisory Council.
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
In domestic violence homicides, women are six times more likely to be killed when there is a gun in the house.
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
Open the National Fact Sheet (PDF).