BJS Report Measures Decline in Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence in U.S. households declined sharply over the two decades ending in 2012, according a new data from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. BJS said the rate dropped 63 percent, from 13.5 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 1994 to 5.0 per 1,000 in 2012. The data showed decreases in both serious domestic violence, including rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault, and simple assault.

Domestic violence accounted for 21 percent of all violent victimizations from 2003 to 2012, the report said. Nearly eight out of every 10 cases occurred at or near the victim’s home. The findings are based on BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey, which measures nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to police. Domestic violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault committed by intimate partners (current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends), immediate family members (parents, children or siblings) or other relatives.

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