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Domestic Violence in California

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The U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nationally nearly one in every four women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood. The report further stated that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experience an attempted or completed rape. These issues are a problem throughout the country including in California. The statistics that follow highlight the extent of the problem in California.

Abuse in California – Rates of Domestic Violence

Statistics by California Women’s Health Survey

  • Approximately 40% of women in California experience physical intimate partner violence in their lifetimes (male lifetime prevalence rates are not available).
  • This same study found young women, between the ages of 18 and 24, were significantly more likely (11%) to be victims of physical intimate partner violence in the past year than women in other age groups.
  • The CWHS also revealed statistically significant higher rates of intimate partner violence among women who were pregnant in the last five years (12%).
  • Of those experiencing physical intimate partner violence, 75% of victims had children under the age of 18 years at home.

Prevalence of Teen Dating Violence

Statistics by California Student Survey

  • At least one incident of physical dating violence was reported by 5.2% of 9th graders and 8.2% of 11th graders.
  • Among students who had a boy/girlfriend, the rates of dating violence were 8.8% in 9th grade and 12.8% in 11th grade.

Domestic Violence Homicides

Statistics by California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center

  • There were 113 domestic violence fatalities in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available).
  • This accounted for 5% of all homicides in the State.
  • Of the 113 domestic violence homicides in 2008, 99 of the victims were females (88%), and 14 were males (12%).

Domestic Violence Facts


Statistics by Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence

  • Approximately 1.5 million women and 834,700 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year.
  • Nearly two-thirds of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date.
  • Among women who are physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner, one in three is injured. Each year, more than 500,000 women injured as a result of intimate partner violence (IPV) require medical treatment.
  • As many as 324,000 women each year experience IPV during their pregnancy.
  • Firearms were the major weapon type used in intimate partner homicides from 1981 to 1998.

National Statistics

  • On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. In the same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner (Bureau of Justice Statistics Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003).
  • According to estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey, there were nearly 700,000 nonfatal violence victimizations committed by current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends of the victims during 2001. 85% of this number were crimes against women. (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, March 1998).
  • Thirty seven percent of women who sought treatment in an emergency room for violence-related injuries were injured by a current or former intimate partner. (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, March 1998).
  • Abuse in relationships exists among all classes, races and cultural groups, although women between ages 16 and 24 are nearly three times more vulnerable to intimate partner violence (Intimate Partner Violence & Age of Victim, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999).
  • A recent National Crime Victimization survey found that women were 6 times more likely than men to experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Intimate partners include current or former spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, dating partners, regardless of whether they are cohabiting or not. (Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Re-designed Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1998).
  • In a national study of college students, 27.5% of the women surveyed said that they had suffered rape or attempted rape at least once since age 14. Only 5% of those experiences were reported to the police. The term “hidden rape” has emerged because this survey and many other studies found that sexual assaults are seldom reported to the police. (Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control, 2003).
  • On September 17, 2008, seventy-eight percent of identified domestic violence programs in the United States participated in the 2008 National Census of Domestic Violence Services. See what domestic violence services were needed in your state that day.

For more information on Domestic Violence, click on this link:

If you are a victim of or have been accused of domestic violence, please contact The Law Office of Matthew J. Rudy for a free 1 hour consultation. Our principal attorney, Matthew Rudy, has substantial experience handling domestic violence proceedings in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda and San Mateo counties and throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.


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  • Guest
    Anonymous Sunday, 20 January 2013


    Rape is a heinous crime and it is frightening. The wounds are even deeper if you get raped repeatedly. Men see women as their toy, which they can play with whenever they want to and throw when they are done. People committing this crime have no love, no empathy, and no mercy. Rape victims go through so much pain and agony. People who rape should be sent to prison.

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