Children and youth
Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year.
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. Incest accounts for half of all sexual abuse cases.
- Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence.
- Children exposed to violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes.
- Men exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence as children are almost four times more likely than other men to have perpetrated domestic violence as adults, according to a large study.
- Domestic violence and sexual assault severely impact not only victims, but entire communities. In addition to the devastating damage suffered by victims and their families, these crimes also have huge financial costs.
- The cost of intimate partner violence annually exceeds $5.8 billion, including $4.1 billion in direct healthcare expenses.
- Between one-quarter and one-half of domestic violence victims report that they lost a job, at least in part, due to domestic violence. Women who experienced domestic violence are more likely to experience periods of unemployment, have health problems, and be welfare recipients.
- Domestic violence has been estimated to cost employers in the U.S. up to $13 billion each year.
Progress for domestic and sexual violence victims
Congress’s commitment to improving the response to domestic and sexual violence has made a significant difference in the lives of victims. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), enacted in 1984, has been the foundation of the response to domestic violence victims, including shelters and outreach programs across the country.
VAWA saved an estimated nearly $14.8 billion in net averted costs in its first six years alone.