Child abuse and other forms of violence involving families fell by more than half between 1993 and 2002, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics in a report quoted by the Associated Press. The rate of family violence fell from about 5.4 victims to 2.1 victims per 1,000 residents age 12 and older. The report looked back to 1993 – the year the survey was redesigned – for a long-term trend in family violence.
Almost half of the 3.5 million victims of family violence between 1998 and 2002 were spouses. Fewer than one in 100 died as a result. The study found that 73 percent of victims were female and 75 percent of offenders were male. Esta Soler, president of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, said the report “offers a ray of hope that our nation is finally on the right track in addressing the violence that devastates so many families in this country. But our work is not nearly done. Domestic, dating and family violence are still taking a terrible toll.”