Rates of Intimate Partner Violence in the United States

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Estimates of intimate partner violence in the United States based on representative samples have relied on data from one person per household or limited numbers of indicators from both partners. The purpose of this study was to estimate nationwide rates of intimate partner violence with data from both couple members by using a standardized survey instrument, the Conflict Tactics Scale.


A multistage probability sampling design was used to conduct separate face-to-face interviews in respondents' homes with both members of 1635 representative couples living in the 48 contiguous states.


Both partners' reports were used to estimate the following lower- and upper-bound rates: 5.21% and 13.61% for male-to-female partner violence, 6.22% and 18.21% for female-to-male partner violence, and 7.84% to 21.48% for any partner-to-partner violence.


High rates of intimate partner violence in the United States corroborate previous claims that the amount of intimate partner violence is substantial. (Am J Public Health. 1998;88:1702-1704)

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