Domestic Violence in 2022: Definitions, Statistics, and Prevention (Part 2)

Domestic Violence in 2022: Definitions, Statistics, and Prevention (Part 2)

Discussion of domestic violence in the United States, its prevalence, and what can be done to mitigate and prevent it.

Amanda Luzzader
Amanda Luzzader
Content Writer
Domestic Violence in 2022: Definitions, Statistics, and Prevention (Part 2)

Domestic Violence in 2022: Definitions, Statistics, and Prevention (Part 2)

In the first part of this two-part article, we provided definitions of domestic violence and outline the many forms it may take. We'll now turn to a discussion of domestic violence in the United States, its prevalence, and what can be done to mitigate and prevent it.

How Prevalent is Domestic Violence in the United States?

As mentioned in the first part of this article, a seemingly impossible number of people in the United States will experience some form of domestic abuse during their lifetimes. Women ages 18--24 are most likely to be victims of domestic violence, but children and men are also commonly victimized. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that more than one in four women and one in ten men are affected by domestic violence Also according to the CDC,  43 million women and approximately 38 million men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Regardless of which domestic violence definitions and measurements are used, estimates of how often domestic violence occurs in the United States are very alarming. For instance, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) estimates that an act of domestic violence or intimate-partner violence occurs every 3 seconds. Estimates by other organizations suggest that domestic violence occurs "only" every 20 seconds--still a shocking statistic.

Also, the trendlines that track domestic violence are not moving in a favorable direction. The NCADV reports that more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence every year in the United States, and according to the same information, the number of incidents of intimate-partner violence in the United States increased 42% during the period between 2016 and 2018. This means that domestic violence was on the rise when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and recent statistics reported by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine suggest that the isolation resulting from the pandemic is linked to the 25-30% surge in domestic violence cases in 2020, further aggravating a crisis that was already up-trending.

How Can Survivors of Domestic Violence Get Help?

To mitigate the domestic violence that is already occurring, hotlines, shelters, and post-treatment are available. The CDC lists the following domestic violence hotlines:

National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH). The NDVH was established by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and is supported accordingly by ongoing funding initiatives. Experts are available online and by telephone 24 hours a day and 365 days per year.

Call: 1-800-799-7233

TTY: 1-800-787-3224


Love Is Respect National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. This resource is an outgrowth of the NDVH which offers the same comprehensive full-time crisis support, but is tailored for people between the ages of 13 and 26.

Call: 1-866-331-9474

TTY: 1-866-331-8453


Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network's (RAINN) National Sexual Assault Hotline. The RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline connects those in need with affiliated local abuse victim resources such as confidential support, help finding local health care resources for survivors of sexual assault, information about local laws and legal procedures, and referrals for long-term medical and mental health resources.

Call: 800-656-HOPE (4673)


How Can Domestic Violence Be Prevented?

Emergency and crisis support are essential for survivors of domestic violence. But how can domestic violence be prevented? It's obviously an extremely complex issue of national and worldwide scope. However, this statement by the CDC is quite hopeful:

"All forms of intimate partner violence are preventable. Strategies to promote healthy, respectful, and nonviolent relationships are an important part of prevention. Programs that teach young people healthy relationship skills such as communication, effectively managing feelings, and problem-solving can prevent violence. These skills can stop violence in dating relationships before it occurs."

In other words, domestic violence hotlines, shelters, legal advocacy groups, and ongoing treatment are part of the solution, overall prevention of future domestic abuse is a matter of educating young people how to build healthy relationships and conflict-solving skills. The NDVH and the Love Is Respect project, in addition to their crisis and emergency resources, also provide information about dating and romantic relationships meant to lead to preventative education. Nonprofit organizations throughout the United States likewise offer courses, classes, and counseling designed to change attitudes and patterns that lead to the continuance of domestic violence.

As is the case with many complicated and endemic problems, one of the most important solutions to domestic violence is information.