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Domestic Violence: Findings From a New British Crime Survey Self-Completion Questionnaire

NCJ Number
Catriona Mirrless-Black
Date Published
136 pages
This report presents the findings from a new computerized self-completion component on domestic violence included as part of the 1996 British Crime Survey.
The questionnaire was designed to maximize victims' willingness to report domestic assaults and threats to the survey by ensuring anonymity and confidentiality. It also encouraged reporting of incidents victims did not define as crimes. The questionnaire covered physical assaults and frightening threats committed by current and former partners against men and women aged 16 to 59. This report, therefore, provides the most reliable findings to date on the extent of domestic violence in England and Wales. Regarding levels of domestic violence, 4.2 percent of women and 4.2 percent of men reported they had been physically assaulted by a current or former partner in the last year. Further, 4.9 percent of men and 5.9 percent of women had experienced physical assaults and/or frightening threats. These levels are considerably higher than figures from other British Crime Survey measures. Women were twice as likely as men to have been injured by a partner in the last year and three times as likely to have suffered frightening threats. They were also more likely to have been assaulted three or more times. An analysis of survey responses led to an estimate of approximately 6.6 million incidents of domestic physical assault in 1995, and 2.9 million of these involved injury. In addition, there were approximately 7 million frightening threats. In addition to the extent of victimization, findings are also presented on life-time experience, the victims, the assaults, the assailants, victims' perceptions of their experiences, and the support and advice victims received. Extensive tables and figures and appended questionnaire