How Common Is Domestic Violence?

Before reading this blog, read Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on domestic violence.

How Often Does Domestic Violence Happen?

Bradley suggests that even by conservative numbers, the number of domestic violence cases reported throughout the United States is devastatingly high. Whether or not domestic violence as a whole is steadily increasing or more cases are being reported compared to previous decades isn’t relevant to the discussion. The fact that it happens so often, no matter what you believe regarding the above question, is the root of the problem.

Bradley states that “there are four million reported instances of domestic violence every year in the United States.” She also gives an account of a chilling Memphis study done on domestic abuse where it revealed 75% of assailants spent less than 18 hours in jail, and 67% of the perpetrators were on probation or parole. The effects of domestic violence are far-reaching, with detrimental effects on those who may not be affiliated with any specific case themselves.

Dr. Bradley gives numerous examples of statistics compiled by various reputable sources across the nation, including:

  • “Up to six million women are believed to beaten in their homes each year. Four million incidents are reported."
  • One million women visit physicians and hospital emergency rooms for treatment for injuries caused by beating every year.
  • Medical expenses for treating victims of domestic violence total at least $3 billion to $5 billion annually.
  • In one western city, domestic violence was the single most reported crime in 1995, which was more than assault, battery, and burglary charges.
  • According to a 1995 FBI survey, a woman is battered in the United States every seven seconds
  • "An estimated 90 percent of men and 80 percent of women currently in prison were abused at some point in their lives."

Their account shows how prevalent domestic abuse is, and that is only what we have records of. Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that plagues not only the United States but the entire globe. It’s a toxic problem which is common among all types of people--rich or poor, privileged or marginalized. Women all over the world are being bruised, battered, or worse. The first step to solving the problem is recognizing the issue and increasing awareness of how often domestic violence occurs around us.

Domestic violence plays a major role in divorce, and any person can suddenly find themselves isolated in the terrifying world of a violent partner. If one ever finds themselves in that circumstance, the first move should be to separate yourself from the situation and start working with your preferred family lawyer.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of H. William Edgar are dedicated to the practice of family law and juvenile dependency matters. We have offices in Riverside, Temecula, Anaheim and Palm Desert, and we are committed to helping you get the results that your family deserves. Contact us online or by calling (888) 251-9618 to review your options.


Berry, Dawn Bradley. The Domestic Violence Sourcebook. Contemporary, 2001.