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Domestic Violence

(The information in this section was retrieved from the National Domestic Violence Hotline)
In the United States

  • 4 million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average 12-month period. -Henise, L., Ellsberg, M. and Geottemoeller, M. Ending Violence Against Women, Population Reports, Series L, No. 11., December 1999

  • On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. -Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001. February 2003.

  • 92% of women say that reducing domestic violence and sexual assault should be at the top of any formal efforts taken on behalf of women today. -Liz Claiborne Inc., study on Teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005.

  • 1 out of 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. - Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; and Jeannie E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy , and Suicidality,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, No. 5, 2001.

  • 1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide. - Bureau of Justice Statistics, Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey, August 1995.

  • 1 in 3 teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked or physically hurt by his/her partner. - Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.

  • Women of all races are equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner. -US. Department of Justice, Violence? Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments, August 1997.

  • 37% of all women who sought care in hospital emergency rooms for violence–related injuries were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. - US Department of Justice

  • Some estimates say almost 1 million incidents of violence occur against a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend per year. -The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, May 1999.

  • For 30% of women who experience abuse, the first incident occurs during pregnancy. - Helton et al 1987.

  • As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy. - Gazmararian JA, Petersen R, Spitz AM, Goodwin MM, Saltzman LE, Marks JS. “Violence and reproductive health; current knowledge and future research directions.” Maternal and Child Health Journal 2000; 4(2):79-84

  • Violence against women costs companies $72.8 million annually due to lost productivity. -Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Center for disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA/

  • 74% of employed battered women were harrassed by their partner while they were at work. - Family Violence Prevention Fund. 1998. The Workplace Guide for Employer, Unions, and Advocates, San Francisco, CA.

  • Ninety-four percent of the offenders in murder-suicides were male. -Violence Policy Center (VPC), American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, April 2006

  • Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner(spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were females killed by their intimate partners. - Violence Policy Center (VPC), American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, April 2006

  • Most murder-suicides with three or more victims involved a "family annihilator" -- a subcategory of intimate partner murder-suicide.Family annihilators are murderers who kill not only their wives/girlfriends and children, but often other family members as well,before killing themselves. -Violence Policy Center (VPC), American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, April 2006

  • Seventy-five percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home. -Violence Policy Center (VPC), American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, April 2006

In New Jersey in 2006

  • There were 73,749 domestic violence offenses reported by the police in 2006, a 3 percent decrease compared to the 75,651 reported in 2005.

  • Murders increased 2 percent in 2006 (42) when compared to 2005 (41).

  • Assaults accounted for 44 percent (32,450) and harassment accounted for 41 percent (30,532) of the reported offenses in 2006.

  • Arrests were made in 31 percent (22,700) of the offenses reported for 2006, a decrease of less than one-half of one percent when compared to arrests made in 2005.

  • The most frequent day of domestic violence occurrences was Sunday (13,504).

  • For the twenty-fourth consecutive year, the most frequent hours of domestic violence incidents were between 8:00 p.m. and midnight, when 27 percent (19,886) of the offenses were reported.

  • Children were involved or present during 33 percent of all domestic violence offenses occurring in 2006. Specifically, 5 percent (3,888) were involved and 28 percent (20,857) were present.

  • Wives were the victims in 20 percent (15,104) and ex-wives were the victims in 3 percent (2,407) of the reported domestic violence offenses in 2006. Overall, females were victims in 77 percent (56,661) of all domestic violence offenses.

  • The number of domestic violence complaints that had prior court orders issued against the offender decreased from 15,558 in 2005 to 15,481 in 2006. This is a decrease of less than one-half of one percent.
  • Alcohol and/or drugs were involved in 28 percent (20,603) of the reported offenses occurring in 2006. Alcohol involvement alone accounted for 25 percent (18,164) of the total domestic violence offenses reported.

  • Persons age 60 or over were victims in 3 percent (2,251) of all reported domestic violence offenses that occurred in 2006.

  • Elderly were the victims in 12 percent (5) of the domestic violence murders (42).

  • Domestic violence does not occur at a regular frequency, but when viewed as a ratio of its occurrence to a fixed time interval, one act of domestic violence would occur every 7 minutes and 7 seconds.

  • Domestic violence offenses arising from a dating relationship accounted for 15 percent (10,865) of the state total.

  • There were 3,102 total arrests involving domestic violence restraining orders reported by police in 2006. Of these, 1,818 were arrests for violations of a restraining order only, while 1,284 were arrests for violations of a restraining order with an offense arrest.

 The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act

  • Provides victims of domestic violence with a choice of actions and legal remedies.

  • Is designed to protect victims and their children from abusive and/or violent behavior by someone they know intimately.

  • Provides an opportunity to file a civil or criminal complaint or both.

  • States that a temporary restraining order (TROs) remain in effect until further action by the court.

  • Can, through a TRO, forbid defendants to possess firearms or other weapons.

  • States that in awarding temporary custody, "the court shall presume that the best interests of the children are served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent".

  • Provides that a victim can request a risk assessment if they believe a child will be harmed during visitation (and a decision on visitation postponed).

  • Requires mandatory arrest provisions of an alleged abuser by the police if a victim exhibits signs of injury or exhibits physical pain or other impairments of their physical condition, or a weapon was involved, or if there is a restraining order in effect.





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