Sustained Outrage

One in 20 beatings

domesticviolenceThe Bureau of Justice Statistics just released the results from its 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey. It’s a lot of information, presented in 110 — count’em, 110 — tables.

Looking at the Family Violence section — tables 33 to 35, for those of you scoring at home — I found some pretty alarming statistics.

More than 10 percent of the 4,331,530 assaults in America that year involved victims who were related to their attacker. More than five percent of the time, the victim was a spouse or ex-spouse.

The numbers were virtually identical for simple assault (5.1 percent spouse/ex-spouse combined) as they were for aggravated assault (4.9 percent combined).

Let’s think about that: One out of every 20 times someone smacks someone (my very loose, unscientific and non-legal definition of simple assault) in this country, it’s to hit a romantic partner, either current or former.

One out of every 20 times someone beats the stuffing out of someone (aggravated assault, which often involves a weapon), it’s to seriously injure a romantic partner, either current or former.

Moreover, of the 248,280 rapes and sexual assaults, more than 10 percent involved victims who were spouses (8.3 percent) or exes (2.5 percent).

Remember, studies suggest that victims of domestic violence have more health problems and the violence lasts longer if a couple has children together.