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The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report

Sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are major public health problems in the United States. Many survivors of these forms of violence can experience physical injury, mental health consequences such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and suicide attempts, and other health consequences such as gastrointestinal disorders, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and gynecological or pregnancy complications. These consequences can lead to hospitalization, disability, or death.

Our understanding of these forms of violence has grown substantially over the years. However, timely, ongoing, and comparable national and state-level data are lacking. Less is also known about how these forms of violence impact specific populations in the United States or the extent to which rape, stalking, or violence by a romantic or sexual partner are experienced in childhood and adolescence.

CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control launched the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey in 2010 with the support of the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Defense to address these gaps. The primary objectives of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey are to describe:

  • The prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence
  • Who is most likely to experience these forms of violence
  • The patterns and impact of the violence experienced by specific perpetrators
  • The health consequences of these forms of violence

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey is an ongoing, nationally representative random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey that collects information about experiences of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence among non-institutionalized English and/ or Spanish-speaking women and men aged 18 or older in the United States. NISVS provides detailed information on the magnitude and characteristics of these forms of violence for the nation and for individual states.

This report presents information related to several types of violence that have not previously been measured in a national populationbased survey, including types of sexual violence other than rape; expressive psychological aggression and coercive control, and control of reproductive or sexual health. This report also provides the first ever simultaneous national and state-level prevalence estimates of violence for all states.

The findings presented in this report are for 2010, the first year of data collection, and are based on complete interviews. Complete interviews were obtained from 16,507 adults (9,086 women and 7,421 men). The relative standard error (RSE), which is a measure of an estimate’s reliability, was calculated for all estimates in this report. If the RSE was greater than 30%, the estimate was deemed unreliable and is not reported. Consideration was also given to the case count. If the estimate was based on a numerator ≤20, the estimate is also not reported. Estimates for certain types of violence reported by subgroups of men such as rape victimization by racial/ethnic group are not shown because the number of men in these subgroups reporting rape was too small to calculate a reliable estimate. These tables are included in the report so that the reader can easily determine what was assessed and where gaps remain.

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Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.