Domestic Violence

November 15, 2013 • Volume 23, Issue 41
Are federal programs helping to curb abuse?
By Barbara Mantel


Friends and family attend a vigil (Getty Images/Bradenton Herald/Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)
Friends and family attend a vigil in Manatee, Fla., on May 18, 2012, for 38-year-old Alisa Hartmann, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat by her husband. He was found guilty of second-degree murder in April 2013 and is serving a 50-year prison sentence. Although domestic violence has been declining for decades, according to the Justice Department, victim advocates say the number of cases they see remains “distressingly high.” (Getty Images/Bradenton Herald/Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Incidents of domestic violence have declined by more than half over the past two decades, according to U.S. Department of Justice crime surveys. Some attribute progress to the growth in shelters, more aggressive enforcement and laws such as the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which have poured billions of dollars into shelters, social services and training programs. But some victims' advocates say the Justice Department underestimates the problem and cite a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, which shows that more than 12 million adults suffer physical violence, rape or stalking each year. The confusion has left advocates, researchers, prosecutors and judges divided over the best ways to reduce intimate partner violence. Meanwhile, new technology such as GPS and social media have made it easier for abusers to track and intimidate their victims.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Violence in America
Apr. 29, 2022  Political Violence
Jun. 01, 2018  Gang Violence
Oct. 09, 2015  Fighting Gangs
Feb. 14, 2014  Media Violence
Nov. 15, 2013  Domestic Violence
Feb. 08, 2013  Preventing Hazing
Jan. 06, 2006  Domestic Violence
Oct. 31, 2003  Serial Killers
Sep. 03, 1993  Suburban Violence
Apr. 27, 1979  Violence in the Family
Jun. 05, 1968  Violence in American Life
Crime and Law Enforcement
Domestic Issues
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Violence and the Family
Women's Health Issues