Nearly half of all domestic violence cases analyzed in a newly released federal study involved a defendant with a prior history of abuse toward the same victim, and a child witnessed the violence in nearly a quarter of the cases. The statistics come from a Bureau of Justice Statistics study that analyzed 3,750 intimate partner violence cases in 16 large urban counties in May 2002.
Twelve percent of the cases involved aggravated assault and 78 percent simple assault. One-quarter of defendants used a weapon during the incident. Nine of every 10 victims sustained an injury. Eighty-four percent of the cases involved a male defendant and female victim, while 12 percent involved a female defendant and a male victim. Most offenses occurred either at the victim's residence (21 percent) or at a residence shared with the defendant (58 percent). More than half of defendants charged with intimate partner violence were convicted.