Introduction to Domestic Violence


Domestic violence, increasingly known as intimate partner violence, is defined as physical, sexual or emotional abuse, as well as threats. The federal Centers for Disease Control estimates that 4.8 million women and 2.9 million men are subjected to physical or sexual abuse by intimate partners in America each year. The CDC counted more than 1,500 domestic violence deaths in 2004, three-quarters of them women. Yet intimate partner violence has been on a steady decline since the late 1970s. Most recently, a federal Bureau of Justice Statistics study (authored by Shannan Catalano, whose contact information is included in the BJS source listing below) noted a 50 percent decline between 1993 and 2004. Some have cited the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and better training by law enforcers. Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri-St. Louis (listed among the Academics and Experts below) was co-author of a study that analyzed the decline.

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