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Healthy People 2010 - With Annotations

Chapter 15

Injury and Violence Prevention
Lead Agency: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Goal: Reduce injuries, disabilities, and deaths due to unintentional injuries and violence.

15-36. Reduce sexual assault other than rape.

Target: 0.2 sexual assaults other than rape per 1,000 persons aged 12 years and older.

Baseline: 0.6 sexual assaults other than rape per 1,000 persons aged 12 years and older in 1998.

Target setting method: Better than the best.

Data sources: Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1994; National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Persons Aged 12 Years and Older, 1994* Sexual Assault
Other Than Rape

Rate per 1,000
Race and ethnicity  
(Asian/Pacific Islander and
American Indian/Alaska Native)
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander DSU
Black or African American 0.3
White 0.6
Hispanic or Latino 0.9
Not Hispanic or Latino 0.5
Black or African American DSU
White DSU
Female 1.0
Male 0.1
Education level  
Less than high school DNC
High school graduate DNC
At least some college DNC

DNA = Data have not been analyzed. DNC = Data are not collected. DSU = Data are statistically unreliable.

*New data for population groups will be added when available.

Both females and males experience family and intimate violence and sexual assault. Perpetrators can be the same or opposite sex. Male victimization of females is more common in intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

In 1995, almost 5,000 females in the United States were murdered. In those cases for which the Federal Bureau of Investigation has data on the relationship between the offender and the victim, 85 percent were killed by someone they knew. Nearly half of the females who knew the perpetrators were murdered by a husband, ex-husband, or boyfriend.(64) In 1994, more than 500,000 females were seen in hospital EDs for violence-related injuries, and 37 percent of those females were there for injuries inflicted by spouses, ex-spouses, or nonmarital partners.(65) Although most assault victims survive, they suffer physically and emotionally.

In 1985, a minimum of 16 percent of couples in the United States experienced an assault, and about 40 percent of these assaults involved severe violence, such as kicking, biting, punching, choking, and attacking with weapons.(66) In these families, nearly one out of eight of the husbands had carried out one or more acts of physical aggression against his wife during the preceding twelve months. (67)

Estimates of abuse rates during pregnancy also are a concern. A 1996 literature review indicted that estimated proportions of women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy ranged between 0.9 percent and 20.1 percent. The proportion of pregnant women who had experienced IPV at any time in the past ranged between 9.7 percent and 29.7 percent.(68)

Males who are physically violent toward their partners are more likely to be sexually violent toward them and are more likely to use violence toward children.(69) The perpetration of intimate partner violence is most common in adults who, as children or adolescents, witnessed intimate partner violence or became the targets of violence from their caregivers.(69)

Survey data from 1994 indicate that 407,190 females aged 12 years and older were victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.(70) Other surveys indicate that the problem is underestimated.(71) For example, the National Women's Study, in conjunction with estimates based on the U.S. Census, suggests that 12.1 million females in the United States have been victims of forcible rape sometime in their lives. According to this study, 0.7 percent or approximately 683,000 of adult females experienced a forcible rape in the last year.(72)

Teen dating violence is a concern that may stem from childhood abuse or other experiences with violence. Battering in teen relationships is very different from intimate partner violence that occurs between adults. The issue of teen dating violence requires national attention and prevention efforts that need to continue focusing on adolescent violence within the larger context of family violence.

The nature of intimate partner violence and sexual violence makes such problems difficult to study. Consequently, much remains unknown about the factors that increase or decrease the likelihood that males will behave violently toward females, the factors that endanger or protect females from violence, and the physical and emotional consequences of such violence for females and their children.

Read Operational Definition for this Objective

Read Overview of Injuries

Back to HP 2010 Injury Objectives Page

Last modified: 22-Aug-2001.