New Data Underscores Need for More Services, Funding for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence and Stalking
On December 14, 2011, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) welcomed the release of new data that once again confirms many things known about sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking: this type of violence is widespread in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which describes the astounding prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence – with domestic violence alone affecting more than 12 million people each year. This large-scale, ongoing study by the CDC underscores the heavy toll of this violence, the immediate impacts of victimization, and the lifelong health consequences to survivors.
Highlights of the survey’s findings include:
- Women are disproportionally affected by sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking. They experienced high rates of severe domestic violence, rape and stalking, and long-term chronic disease and other health impacts such as PTSD symptoms.
- Female victims of domestic violence experienced different patterns of violence than male victims. The data states that women are four times more likely than men to be beaten; six times more likely to be slammed against something; and nine times more likely to be strangled or suffocated. Seventy-two percent of women and 18 percent of men reported being frightened by the violence they experienced.
- The majority of this victimization starts early in life – highlighting the importance of prevention efforts and early intervention. Approximately 80 percent of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and nearly half experienced the first rape before age 18. Almost a third (28 percent) of men experienced their first rape when they were ten years of age or younger.
In Kansas, the NISVS report estimates, 29% of women have been the victim of sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. This translates into approximately 312,000 Kansas women.
A recently released Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) report, Domestic Violence, Stalking and Rape in Kansas, underscores these numbers. In 2010, 32 adults and 6 children were killed in domestic violence-related incidents, reflecting an increase in the percentage of all homicides that are domestic violence- related from 27% to 31%. “Both reports remind us that sexual violence, stalking, and domestic violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States and in Kansas,” says Joyce Grover, KCSDV Executive Director.
On November 30th, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was introduced for re-authorization. “VAWA has been the cornerstone of the federal government’s efforts to bring an end to this type of violence and has received consistent support from the Kansas Congressional delegation,” adds Grover. “The numbers released in NISVS and the recent KBI report lead us to the same conclusion: sexual and domestic violence and stalking have broad societal impact and require broad societal response. Congress must act to reauthorize VAWA now.”
Link to NISVS Fact Sheet:
Link to KBI Report: Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Rape in Kansas: