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New Research: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2016/2017 Report on Intimate Partner Violence

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a new report, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2016/2017 Report on Intimate Partner Violence. This report  highlights the most recent findings from the the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Surivey (NISVS) specifically around experiences of intimate partner violence. 

NISVS was launched in 2010 as an ongoing survey of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence against adult women and men in the United States (at this point, CDC does not collect data about transgender and nonbinary individuals; however, trans and nonbinary people likely responded to the survey). This survey is the most current and comprehensive nationally representative study on these topics. NISVS data is collected using a random-digit telephone (using both landlines and cell phones) survey of English and/or Spanish speaking people over 18 who do not live in an institution (like a correctional facility, nursing home, or other group or care facility, etc.).

This most recent report goes into detail about the experiences of physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and/or psychologcal aggression committed by a current or former dating partner or spouse.  The report summarizes the lifetime and past 12-month prevalence of these forms of violence among women and men in the United States.  The survey was conducted twice between September 2016 and May 2017.  A total of 15,152 women and 12,419 men completed the survey.  The 2016/2017 survey was revised and reorganized from prior surveys so comparisons to prior NISVS data are not recommended.   

 

Key Findings: 

  • Almost 1 in 2 women (47.3%) and more than 2 in 5 men (44.2%) reported experiencing contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking victimization by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.
  • Almost 1 in 5 women (19.6%) reported contact sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner.
    • 10.5% reported rape
    • 13.7% reported sexual coercion 
    • 8% reported unwanted sexual contact
  • One in 13 of men (7.6%) reported contact sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. 
    • Less than 1% reported rape 
    • 2.8% reported being made to penetrate
    • 5% reported sexual coercion 
    • 2.1% reported unwanted sexual contact 
  • More than 70% of female victims of intimate partner violence reported that they were first victimized before the age of 25.  One in 4 were first victimized before the age of 18. 
  • More than 60% of male victims of intimate partner violence reported that they were first victimized before the age of 25.  One in 5 were first victimized before the age of 18. 
  • About 2 in 5 women and 1 in 5 men who experienced intimate partner violence reported  experiencing a violence related impact:
    • Women (lifetime):
      • 1 in 3 (35.5%)reported being injured 
      • 1 in 4 (29.9%) reported being concerned for their safety 
      • 12.7% missed at least one day of work 
      • 12.1% needed legal services 
      • 6.1% talked to a crisis hotline 
      • 6% needed victim advocacy services 
      • 5.5% needed housing services 
      • 6.5% missed at least one day of school
    • Men (lifetime):
      • 1 in 5 (21.1%) reported being injured 
      • 1 in 14 (7.1%) reported being concerned for their safety 
      • 5.7% missed at least one day of work 
      • 5.8% needed legal services
      • 1.5% talked to a crisis hotline
      • .6% needed victim advocacy services
      • 1.4% needed housing services 
      • 2.1% missed at least one day of school

 

Prevention Implications

Like we have stated in prior publications these latest NISVS numbers illustrate that intimate partner violence is all too common. Support for survivors and efforts to prevent IPV before it has a chance to happen are crucial. The CDC has mapped out strategies for these efforts in Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan: A Technical Package of Programs, Policies, and Practices. Prevention efforts should cross multiple sectors and happen at multiple levels – individual, relationship, community, and societal – to change norms and behaviors contributing to violence perpetration. Programming must be relevant to the specific cultural and community contexts to be effective. These efforts must also address the structural factors contributing to perpetration and victimization including institutional and systemic racism, oppression, and inequity. Strategies to meaningfully prevent and respond to intimate partner violence can increase equity, safety, and healing.

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