October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is an annual data collection conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The NCVS defines domestic violence as rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, or simple assault committed by an offender who is the victim's current or former spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parent, child, sibling, or other relative.
Intimate partner violence is violence committed by the victim's current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
According to the Department of Justice (Special Report, April 2014), between 2003 to 2012, the majority of domestic violence was committed against females (76%) compared to males (24%). The majority of intimate partner violence was committed against females (82%), compared to males (18%). Most domestic violence against females was committed by the victim's current or former boyfriend or girlfriend (39%) or spouse (25%).
Rates of domestic violence were highest for persons ages 18 to 24 years and lowest for persons age 65 or older. In 2003 to 2012, persons ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of intimate partner violence and persons ages 12 to 17 had the highest rates of violence by other relatives.
In 2003-2012, non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic persons of two or more races had the highest rates of intimate partner violence, compared to non-Hispanic whites.
SPECIAL REPORT: Non-Fatal Domestic Violence, 2003-2012
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics