Nearly Four Million California Adults Are Victims of Intimate Partner Violence
2010 | Download
The California Health Interview Survey asked adults ages 18 to 65 a series of questions to identify persons who have experienced intimate partner violence, the nature of violent incidents they have experienced, and whether they were victimized in the past year.
Nearly 1 in 6 adults in California, about 3.7 million persons, report experiencing physical intimate partner violence (IPV) as adults. Over one million Californians were forced to have sex (5%) by an intimate partner during adulthood. Overall, 17.2% of adults—nearly four million Californians—report being a victim of physical and/or sexual IPV as an adult.
These acts of violence are not merely a criminal justice problem, but a public health problem with deep and lingering social, psychological and health-related costs. Beyond the immediate trauma facing adult victims, IPV incidents may have a prolonged impact on the emotional and mental health of the victims, affect their ability to complete school or maintain employment, and result in adverse health behaviors to cope with the trauma, such as engaging in risky alcohol, tobacco or other drug use. Violence that occurs between intimates or family members is especially damaging when it takes place in the presence of children; previous studies have shown that witnessing violence can lead to intergenerational cycles of violence.