Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Correctional Responses to Domestic Violence Victims

an adult woman's hand holding a child's hand

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

In the United States, an average of twenty people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than ten million abuse victims annually. Domestic violence affects everyone regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality and has devastating consequences that last a lifetime.

  • Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.
  • Nearly, 15% of women (14.8%) and 4% of men have been injured as a result of IPV that included rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
  • Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49.
  • Law enforcement officer fatality rates are greatly increased when responding to domestic violence incidents when a firearm is present. (2017 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Domestic Violence Statistics

In response to this continuing issue and its impact on the corrections environment, the National Institute of Corrections will highlight innovative and promising programs that address offender accountability and victim safety in domestic violence cases both in institutional and community supervision settings:

  • Provide information about designing a comprehensive post-conviction domestic violence response program for both offenders and victims.
  • Steps and tools to identify and prioritize your response to offender behavior.
  • Provide resources specifically tailored to the correctional environment.

Harris County Health and Relationship Study 2021

A network of domestic violence service providers and aligned agencies worked together to distribute the Harris County Health and Relationship Study (HCHR). The goal of the HCHR study is to understand the needs of vulnerable Harris County residents impacted by intimate partner violence and COVID-19. The study is a partnership between HCDVCC and the UTMB Center for Violence Prevention. Follow the link to download the study.

Topic Categories and Resources

The following grey bars are accordions that can be expanded to show a list of "top-shelf" resources that have been hand-picked by our library team around this topic. If you would like additional research assistance on this topic, please contact our help desk. They have access to specialized databases and thousands of resources you won't find online. Click on a grey box below to browse resources in that section.