Domestic Violence

If you or someone you love is in a violent relationship, call these FREE hotlines open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Utah Domestic Violence Link Line
1-800-897-LINK (5465)

Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is also know as Intimate partner violence (IPV). IPV is abuse that occurs between two people in a close relationship. The term “intimate partner” includes current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV exists along a continuum from a single episode of violence to ongoing battering (1).

IPV includes four types of behavior:

  • Physical abuse is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, burning, or other physical force.

  • Sexual abuse is forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent.

  • Threats of physical or sexual abuse include the use of words, gestures, weapons, or other means to communication the intent to cause harm.

  • Emotional abuse is threatening a partner or his or her possessions or loves ones, or harming a partner’s sense of self-worth. Examples are stalking, name-calling, intimidation, or not letting a partner see friends and family.

Domestic Violence Statistics

  • In 2011, there were 19 domestic violence-related homicides in Utah (6). This is approximately 32% of all homicides in Utah.
  • In 2011, more than 3,400 men, women, and children entered shelters in FY 10 to escape domestic violence (6).
  • In 2008, 14.2% of Utah women (ages 18 and older) reported that an intimate partner had ever hit, slapped, pushed, kicked, or hurt them in any way (2).
  • In Utah, women experienced 169,156 intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes each year (2).
  • Nationally, each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes (3).
  • The percentage of women in Utah who reported ever experiencing IPV increased with age, with the exception of women who were 65 years or older (2).
  • 39% of Utah women reporting IPV said the perpetrator was their husband or male live-in partner. 27% said the perpetrator was a former husband or former male live-in partner and 25.7% said the abuser was a former boyfriend (2).
  • In Utah, divorce or separated women report the highest percentage of IPV (42.1%) (2).
  • Nationally, the estimated costs of IPV exceed $5.8 billion each year. This includes costs of medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity (4).
  • There is approximately one intimate partner-related homicide every 33 days in Utah (5).
  • 44% of intimate partner-related homicide victims were killed by a spouse (5).
  • 147 Utah children were directly exposed to an intimate partner-related homicide from 2003-2008 and 78% of these children were under six years of age (5).
  • There is approximately one domestic violence-related homicide each month in Utah (5).
  • One out of three adult homicides are domestic violence homicides.
  • One-third of domestic violence perpetrators committed suicide after committing the homicide (5).
  • There are approximately 3 domestic violence-related suicides every month in Utah (5).
  • Almost 12% of adult suicides are domestic violent related (5).

Data Sources

(1) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2006). Understanding Intimate Partner Violence fact sheet, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/IPV_factsheet-a.pdf.

(2) Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2008.

(3) Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington (DC): Department of Justice (US); 2000. Publication No. NCJ 181867. Available from: URL: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/181867.htm.

(4) NCIPC. (2003). Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States, http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/ipv_cost/IPVBook-Final-Feb18.pdf.

(5) Utah Violent Death Reporting System, 2003-2008.

(6) No More Secrets 2011 report