NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

With Friends Like These...

August 25, 1997

Almost half of the 1.4 million victims of violence or suspected violence treated in hospital emergency rooms in 1994 were hurt by someone they knew, according to the Justice Department.

  • A Department study found that 17 percent of the victims -- about 243,000 people -- had injuries inflicted by someone they knew intimately, a spouse, a former spouse, or a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Of the 7 percent of victims who were abused by spouses or ex-spouses, women outnumbered men 9 to 1.
  • Nearly 10 percent were hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend -- with women eight times more likely than men to be injured.
  • Nearly one-quarter of those injured were attacked by friends or acquaintances, and 8 percent were hurt by relatives.

Another 23 percent were hurt by strangers In 30 percent of the cases the relationship between assailant and victim was not reported -- meaning that the incidence of domestic abuse could be even higher.

About 5 percent of those treated for violence-related injuries were children under 12. Nearly 22,000 children were treated because of a suspected or actual rape or sexual assault.

Source: AP, "Justice Study Finds Victims Often Know Attackers," New York Times, August 25, 1997.


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