what is intimate partner physical abuse?

Physical abuse includes the physical assault, battery, and sexual assault used as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. Physical abuse can cause severe injury and even death. It often co-occurs with other forms of abuse, including psychological abuse, economic abuse, and stalking.

Intimate Partner Physical Abuse

  • More than 10 million Americans are victims of  physical violence annually.
  • 20 people are victims of physical violence every minute in the United States.
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men is a victim of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes.
  • 76% of intimate partner physical violence victims are female; 24% are male.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men are severely injured by intimate partners in their lifetimes.
  • Domestic violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime in the United States.
  • Domestic violence is most common among women aged 18-24 and 25-34.
  • A majority of physical abuse is committed by dating partners rather than spouses.
  • More than 75% of women aged 18-49 who are abused were previously abused by the same perpetrator.
  • Intimate partner physical abuse has declined 67%  since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.
  • Slightly more than half of intimate partner physical violence is reported to law enforcement.

Intimate Partner Homicide

  • In 2007, 1,640 women were murdered by intimate partners; in 2012, 924 women were killed by intimate partners.
  • 40% of female murder victims are killed by intimate partners.
  • Almost half of intimate partner homicides are committed by dating partners.
  • 76% of women who are killed by intimate partners and 85% of women who survive homicide attempts are stalked prior to the murder or attempted murder.

Why it Matters

Intimate partner physical abuse is not bound by age, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or nationality; it exists in all communities. Contrary to popular belief, physical abuse is not simply a maladjusted person’s occasional expression of frustration or anger, nor is it typically an isolated incident. Physical abuse is a tool of control and oppression and is a choice made by one person in a relationship to control another.

you are loved

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

II Corinthians 4:8-9