In the United States, domestic violence accounts for about 20 percent of the nonfatal violent crime women experience and three percent of the nonfatal violent crime men experience.Harm levels vary from simple assault to homicide, with secondary harms to child witnesses.
Domestic violence calls can be quite challenging for police as they are likely to observe repetitive abuse against the same victims, who may not be able to or may not want to part from their abusers.
Police typically view these calls as dangerous, partly because old research exaggerated the risks to police.
The frequency of the call likely makes claims of dangerousness in terms of injury to officers overblown as well.
In addition, police must address a range of disputes among intimates, former intimates, and family members that may or may not involve violence, including Some of these related problems are covered in other guides in this series, all of which are listed at the end of this guide.
Related problems not directly addressed in this guide, each of which requires separate analysis, include: † Much of the recent research about domestic violence refers to the problem as “intimate partner violence.” Mostly this guide keeps to the term domestic violence, not because it is more accurate, but simply because it is still so widely used by police. "Domestic Violence in Australia—an Overview of the Issues, E-Brief." Available at gov.au/library/intguide/SP/Dom_violence. Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Police Department (2002). "Baker One Domestic Violence Intervention Project: Improving Response to Chronic Domestic Violence Victims." Finalist for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.
Also in this guide, the term domestic violence is intended to include violence perpetrated by current and former intimates or dating partners, including those of the opposite or same sex. 922(g) and (n), 27 CFR 178.32(a) and (b), and 924(a)(24). Thousand Oaks, London, and New Delhi: SAGE Publications.
For the most up-to-date list of current and future guides, visit The survey is administered every six months to about 100,000 individuals in approximately 50,000 households.