Special Feature: Family Violence
Family violence covers a broad range of acts that can include emotional, financial, physical, and sexual abuse. Not only does it harm the victim, but family violence presents dangers for immediate family members as well.
Intimate partner violence is generally described as abuse within the context of an intimate partner relationship, where one partner asserts power and control over the other. It is a serious, preventable health problem that affects millions of Americans. It can happen in any type of intimate relationship and can start as soon as individuals begin dating, often in their teen years.
In the U.S., about one-third of men (30.9%) and women (37.3%) experience violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For both female and male victims, most reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, feeling fearful, and concern for their safety due to their victimization.
A study funded by the National Institute of Justice found that young adults who had parents who experienced intimate partner violence were at an increased risk of exhibiting antisocial behavior as a teenager. In turn, antisocial teens are at a heightened risk of experiencing intimate partner violence in their young adult relationships.
Overall, exposure to violence at a young age can harm a child's emotional, psychological, and even physical development. Children exposed to violence are more likely to have difficulty in school, abuse drugs or alcohol, act aggressively, suffer from depression, and engage in criminal behavior as adults.
To help identify what has been shown to be successful or promising in addressing family violence, the CrimeSolutions.gov website contains reviews and ratings of a variety of programs and practices that aim to prevent family violence, help victims, and reduce the impact to those who witness such violence.
Visit the following pages for information and resources from the Office of Justice Programs and other federal sources related to family violence, the prevention of such violence, and response: