Before we begin our story about 15 states with highest rates of domestic violence in the US, you should know in advance the ranking isn’t based on domestic violence homicide statistics, as it is the case with similar articles. The answer to what state has the highest domestic violence rates isn’t based solely on the number of the deceased victims. This isn’t going to be a very pleasant read either. While you’re reading this, another woman is being beaten somewhere in the States (the incident happens every 9 seconds (!)).
What a surprise then that the US doesn’t have the highest domestic violence rates in the world, nor does it belong to our list of 15 countries with highest rates of domestic violence in the world in 2018. However, it is still appalling that such a highly developed country and a world leader in many fields has issues with domestic violence. Officially, the first breakthrough in domestic violence and women’s rights happened at the beginning of the 19th century when it became illegal for a husband to beat his wife. However, don’t think that was a revolution. The law applied to only a couple of states. It’s doubtful to say how much the state improved over the years. According to domestic violence 1950s statistics, it was perfectly fine to show your wife “who’s the boss” from time to time. It was socially acceptable, no questions asked. Nowadays, the situation with domestic violence statistics for the US is a world of difference in a way that much more information is collected. Either way, it’s hard to face the facts.
What is the percentage of domestic violence in the United States? National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) claims around 20 people experience some form of physical violence every minute from their intimate partner. This kind of violence is most talked about since it could, and it has deadly consequences, but other forms shouldn’t be neglected either. Battery, intended intimidation, sexual assault and similar forms of abusive behavior fall under the definition of domestic violence, too. Today the law is very specific about it, and usually, the charges can’t be withdrawn once they’re filed. The penalties differ from state to state, but it is very important whether it’s the first such incident or not. In California, the accused will typically serve a 30 days punishment, but it doesn’t have to be the case if it’s his/her first offense. How long you have to stay in jail for domestic violence depends on a lot of factors, and mostly they have to do with the (possible) consequences of the act, e.g., severe injuries or trauma. Child abuse is a special category.
Domestic violence in the USA is harsh reality despite all the efforts. One in three women is killed by intimate partners, while with men the ratio is 1:20. On average, the domestic violence hotlines receive about 20,800 calls on the national level. Which state is the safest state in the United States would be a very difficult question to answer. The states we have on our list are so versatile it’s hard to say they have much in common. However, there is one criterion we have applied to give you domestic violence statistics by state. This is how our process went.
While National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a great report and we used it for reference, it is detailed up to a point. Namely, it is done for 2013, and there isn’t a unique criterion for all the states, but rather a list of random facts. We based our findings on the opinion expressed by Family and Youth Services Bureau. Apparently, more than 80% of the homeless people have been victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, the street is sometimes the only option since shelters can’t meet all the demands (for example, 12,197 requests were declined in only one day). Actually, from January 2018, the homeless will be asked one more obligatory question: are they fleeing domestic violence? Bearing this in mind, we found the percentages of the homeless by a state in the annual report for 2017 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (AHAR) and ranked them from the lowest to the highest. In the case when the rates were the same, the state which had the bigger number of homeless families came first (most of the victims are single mothers with children).
If you’d like to have some more details, i.e., read about the cities, we discussed the topic in 15 cities with the highest domestic violence rates in the US.
Finally, here are 15 states with highest rates of domestic violence in the US, or should we say, 15 states with an alarming state.