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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use to gain power and control over their intimate partners.

Domestic violence is lethal, common, and affects people of all cultures, religions, ages, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds and income levels.

Domestic violence is a crime and it happens in many different ways.


Prevalence and Impact

More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 1

1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. 2

Between two and four million women are physically abused each year in the United States. Of these, 2,000 women die of the injuries they suffer. 3

Domestic violence is one of the top three causes of homelessness among families in the 23 major cities surveyed (including Philadelphia). 4


1,2 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary Report, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
3 The American College of Emergency Physicians, 2003
4 United States Conference of Mayors, 2007