1 in 4 US women violently attacked; 1 in 5 raped
One in four women, or nearly 22 million women, in the U.S. has reported being violently assaulted by their husbands or boyfriends. This type of severe physical violence is defined in the report as being hit with an object or fist, being beaten or pushed against something.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) released the startling study on Wednesday, which also reported that one in five American women has been or will be raped at least once in their lives. In addition, the report also says more than 12 million people each year experienced intimate partner violence. Such abuse can cause major health problems in the long run, including diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome, and even reduce life expectancy.
The CDC interviewed about 9,000 women via telephone as part of the anonymous survey. As many as 80 percent of the rape victims were attacked before the age of 25 and one in six has been stalked through text messages or social networking. About half of the women who reported being raped said it happened before they turned 18. And the majority of women who experienced all forms of violence personally knew their aggressors.
Laura Palumbo is a specialist in violence prevention campaign at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. She says the report confirms “that sexual violence is one of the most pervasive and serious public health issues in the country.”
Domestic violence experts do not find the results surprising and say that this type of problem is one often overlooked. The CDC’s official web page states that on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S., based on a 2010 survey.