Every 15 seconds, a woman is battered by her husband, boyfriend, or live-in partner. 7

Battering is the single largest cause of injury to adult women--over mugging, automobile accidents, and rape. 1

Each year, more than one million women seek medical treatment for injuries inflicted by husbands, ex-husbands, or boyfriends. Domestic violence costs employers 3.5 billion dollars in employee absenteeism and millions more in increased costs for health care benefits. 8

Women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by their batterers than those who stay. 11

In general, 70% of men who abuse their female partners also abuse their children. 12

3.3 million children between ages of 3 and 17 are at yearly risk of exposure to parental violence.13.

Violent juvenile delinquents are four times more likely than other youth to come from homes in which their fathers beat their mother.Children who witness domestic violence are five times more likely to become batterers or victims in their adulthood. 16

Up to 50% of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence. 9
34% of the nation's homeless in 1991 were families with children (disproportionately single-mother families) up from 27% in 1985. They are the fastest growing segment of America's homeless population. 10

One quarter of violent crime in the U.S. is wife assault. 15

Between 15-25% of pregnant women are battered. 14
Such women are twice as likely to miscarry, four times more likely to have low birth weight infants and their infants are 40 times more likely to die in the first year. 1

A rape is committed every 1.3 minutes. 17

Nine out of ten murdered women are killed by men. Four out of five are murdered at home. Spousal killings account for 12% of all murders nationwide. 18

One study of a women's prison found that 40% of inmates incarcerated for murder or manslaughter had killed partners who repeatedly assaulted them, These women had sought police protection at least five times before resorting to homicide. 19


1. Heise, Lori, Fact Sheet on Gender Violence as a Health Issue, Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. 1993

2. Government of India, Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi. India. 1991

3. Heise, Lori, "Violence Against Women: The Missing Agenda", Women's Health: A Global Perspective, Westview Press, 1992.

4. Sivard, Ruth Leger, Women....a World Survey, Washington,D.C.: World Priorities, 1985.

5. United Nations. The World's Women: Trends and Statistics 1979-1990, NY 1992.

6. United Nations Development Fund for Women. Women's Rights Are Human Rights, N.Y. 1992.

7. Facts on Domestic Violence. Courtesy Lynne Sowder, Y Care, Chicago (undated)

8. Executive Summary, National Domestic Violence Media Campaign, (undated); quoted in WAC STATS:The Facts About Women, New York, 1992

9. Schneider, Elizabeth, Legal Reform Efforts for Battered Women, 1990

10. Bessuk, Ellen L., "Homeless Families", Scientific American, Dec. 1991.

11. Barbara Hart, 1988, in recent National Coalition Against Domestic Violence pamphlet

12. Bowker, Arbitell and McFerron "On the Relationship Between Wife Beating and Child Abuse", Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse, Kersti Yllo and Michael Bogard, eds. 1988.

13. Jaffe, Peter; Wolfe, David; Wilson, Susan Kaye Children of Battered Women, 1990.

14. Stark, Evan and Flitcraft, Anne, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, fact sheet 1992.

15. Wolf, Naomi, The Beauty Myth, William Morrow and Co., NY. ,1991.

16. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, fact sheet on child abuse,1992.

17. Rape in America, A Report to the Nation. Prepared by the National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1992.

18. Statistics, 1988, 1989, National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Philadelphia.

19. National Commission for Jail Reform, Washington, DC.; WAC STATS:The Facts About Women, NY., 1992 .