January/February 2008

The Prevalence of Violence


  • In 2006, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced an estimated 25 million crimes of violence and theft.
  • Family violence accounted for 11 percent of all reported and unreported violence in the U.S. between 1998 and 2002. Of these, roughly 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49 percent were crimes against spouses, 11 percent were sons or daughters victimized by a parent, and 41 percent were crimes against other family members. Most family violence victims were white (74 percent) and the majority were between ages 25 and 54 (65.7 percent).
  • According to the best available estimates, between one and two million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.
  • More than 10,000 people are murdered with guns every year in the U.S. The impact of gun violence is particularly severe among children and young adults. Of the approximately 1,400 juveniles murdered in 2001, 44 percent were killed with firearms. More than 2,800 students were expelled in 1999–2000 for bringing guns to school. Of these, 43 percent were in elementary school or middle school.