Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

"Utah women have more to fear from the men they know than from any stranger. Young people in particular, who are dating, have now ended up on both sides of the weapon in Utah. It is important for us to consider their developmental process, their life experiences, and begin to establish a premise that can lead us to an understanding of what can channel such a young person to this horrible event."

Ned Searle, Office on Domestic and Sexual Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This Domestic Violence Awareness Month media toolkit was created with community-based prevention professionals and organizations engaging in primary prevention in mind. However, primary prevention concerns everyone and if you are interested in sharing prevention messaging during the month of October, we encourage you to use this toolkit and add strength to our number of partners joining together on this matter. Some social media posts have been provided for partners and community to use.


Domestic violence is also known 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 communicate 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.

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

Domestic Violence Statistics

  • From 2000-2011, there were 226 domestic violence-related homicides in Utah, averaging 19 deaths per year (6).
  • In 2012, more than 3,114 men, women, and children entered shelters 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-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).


  1. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2006). Understanding Intimate Partner Violence fact sheet
  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.
  4. NCIPC. (2003). Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States.
  5. Utah Violent Death Reporting System, 2003-2008.
  6. No More Secrets 2013 report