35 Hard, Cold Facts About Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence in America

Causes that hit close to home are the hardest to advocate. That’s my experience, anyway.

Donating even $10 causes me to feel, ironically, less sensitive to a remote situation, because my donation functioned as an assertion of control. In my mind, the pennies tossed toward purchasing a comfortable park bench somehow eases the consequences of global warming, let alone the needs of children in Africa. It’s as if my conscience puts on sunglasses and props up her feet while a perfectly irrational degree of selfishness takes over. I’ve done my piece, world. So there.

But some causes hit so close to home that they are impossible to ignore. And no matter where you reside in the US, the issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse literally—yes, literally—do.

Do you have a teenaged daughter? Precious preteen niece, neighbor, or nephew? Some of the cruelest crimes never make the news. 1 in 7 girls are sexually abused by age 18, and 1 in 5 by the time they reach 25.

Here is a hard question: What are you personally doing to change that statistic?

Furthermore, if your answer is nothing: what makes you the least bit confident that your beautiful children will never be abused?

The Little Black Dress Society strives to help survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence in every way possible. But today’s post is not about the organization. It’s about the tragic pervasiveness of the cause.

If you’re hoping for an internet-induced dopamine rush, look elsewhere. This content is heavy. Read onward for 35 hard, cold, haunting facts about sexual abuse and domestic violence in America.


1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have already experienced sexual violence and/or stalking in their lifetime.


85% of domestic violence victims are women.


Nearly 1/3 of women who report domestic violence to the police are killed by their intimate partner.



An abusive individual with access to firearms is 5 times more likely to murder his partner than an abusive individual without access to such weapons.



Women constitute 94% of all murder-suicide victims.



72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner



Abusers were responsible 78% of women murdered at their workplace between 2003 and 2008.



40-60% of men who abuse women also abuse children.



44% of rapes with penetration occur to children under 18.



1 in 10 children will experience sexual abuse by their 10th birthday.



1 in 7 girls are sexually abused before they turn 18.



Only 38% of child victims disclose sexual abuse.



3.3 million children every year witness their mother being abused.



Less than 20% of women who report an injury from domestic violence pursue medical treatment.



Only 6% of male victims of sexual abuse reported the event to a medical professional at any point in their lifetimes.



For women, psychological abuse is a stronger predecessor of PTSD than physical abuse.



Over 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines every day.



1 in 25 boys are sexually abused before they turn 18.



Unless society makes progress for the better, 400,000 babies born this year will be victims of sexual abuse.



60% of children who experience sexual abuse are abused by a family member or trusted family friend.



Women of multiracial descent are more likely to be raped, stalked, or domestically abused than white, African American, or Hispanic women.



Women between ages 18 and 14 are most likely to be sexually abused by an intimate partner than any other age bracket.



1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of intimate partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.



Domestic partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion in costs per year.



An employed woman with an unemployed partner is 2 times more likely to be psychologically abused by her partner.



70% of psychologically abused women show symptoms of PTSD and depression.



Women who earn 65% or more of the household income are more likely to be psychologically abused.


Due to health complications caused by domestic abuse, 20-60% of domestic abuse survivors lose their jobs.


76% of women murdered by intimate partners were first stalked.



80% of college campus stalking victims know their stalkers.



Heavy drinkers are 4.6 times more likely to engage in intimate partner violence.



In one survey, 60% Korean immigrants reported being physically abused by their husbands.



70% of domestic violence victims on public welfare do not disclose abuse to their caseworkers.



37% of all women who seek emergency room care for violence-related injuries were harmed by a current or former spouse or boyfriend.


The male partner holds a physically abusive relationship with his victim before committing murder in 70-80% of intimate partner homicides.

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