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THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2000202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly 25 percent of surveyed women and about 7 percent of surveyed men say they have been raped and /or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse or partner at some time in their lives, according to a new report from the Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, the survey shows that stalking by intimate partners is much more widespread than was previously thought, with almost 5 percent of the surveyed women reporting being stalked by a former or current spouse or partner at some time in their lives.

These findings and others are the result of the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS), which compares victimization rates among women and men, specific racial and ethnic groups, and same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

"Violence among intimates involves relationships and factors that are too complex to be captured by a single research approach," said Julie Samuels, Acting Director of the NIJ.

"These survey findings significantly contribute to our understanding of violence between intimates. The NVAWS is a cooperative effort that brings together federal justice and health agencies to analyze estimates of intimate partner violence."

The survey, which consisted of telephone interviews with 8,000 men and 8,000 women, asked respondents about their experiences with intimate partner violence over the past 12 months, as well as during their lifetimes. This study defined intimate partner violence as rape, physical assault, or stalking committed by current and former dates, spouses, and cohabiting partners.

The survey found that violence perpetrated against women by intimates is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior. Women whose partners were jealous, controlling or verbally abusive were significantly more likely to report being victimized. Verbal abuse was found to be the behavior most likely to predict intimate partner victimization.

According to the survey, rates of intimate partner violence varied significantly among women of different racial backgrounds. The survey found that African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women and men tended to report higher rates of intimate partner violence than women and men from other backgrounds. Asian/Pacific Islander women and men tended to report lower rates.

Women experience more chronic and injurious physical assaults in intimate partner relationships than do men. The survey found that women who were physically assaulted by an intimate partner averaged 6.9 physical assaults by the same partner, and men averaged 4.4 assaults. More than 40 percent of women who were assaulted experienced an injury during their most recent assault, compared to 20 percent of the men. This NIJ/CDC report, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, is available on the Internet at (then click on "What's New"), or from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) by calling toll-free, 1-800/851-3420.

This study follows another recently released Justice Department survey that also measured intimate partner violence, but used a different method to collect the data. The National Crime Victimization Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), asked respondents specifically about their experiences with crime, whereas the NVAWS is administered in the context of a personal safety survey. As a result, the surveys show both similarities and differences in their findings. For example, both surveys indicate that women are much more likely to be victimized than men and are more likely to suffer injuries as a result of the victimization. However, the surveys differ in the number of victimizations reported by survey respondents and the proportion of those reporting their victimization to the police. Both surveys are part of the Justice Department's efforts to develop multiple measures to improve understanding of violence between intimates and formulate more effective policy, including prevention and intervention tools. A copy of the BJS news release on intimate partner violence is available at

NIJ is the primary sponsor of criminal justice research and evaluation of programs to reduce crime and violence. For additional information about NIJ, the Internet address is General information about the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is available at General information about CDC is available at

For more information on this report, contact the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.

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