Who is victimized by domestic violence?

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Connecticut domestic violence incidents in 2013 involved offenders and victims in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship more often than any other kind of relationship. They involved female victims more often than males, and more victims were over 30 years old than under 30.

That’s according to summary data on 13,325 incidents of Connecticut domestic violence from 2013, which included 10 categories of offense: murder and non-negligent homicide, kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, forcible fondling, sexual assault with an object, robbery and aggravated assault. The data is summarized by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention from FBI uniform crime data.

Simple assault, aggravated assault and intimidation made up 95 percent of the incidents in the data set. (These numbers are based on the most serious offense in cases involving multiple offenses. For details on how these categories of offenses are ranked in terms of seriousness, see this page.)

The percentage of each type of incident were: simple assault (60.6 percent);
intimidation (26.8); aggravated assault (7.4); kidnapping (2.4); forcible fondling (1.1); forcible rape (0.8); robbery (0.4); forcible sodomy (0.2); sexual assault with object (0.1); murder/non-negligent manslaughter (0.1).

Note that this data set is incomplete and represents an “unknown” portion of the actual offenses, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, since not all law enforcement agencies report their data to the FBI. It’s more informative to look at each category of crime as a portion of the reported cases, which is why they’re presented above in percentages.

By age

Out of 13,241 incidents in which the victims’ ages were known, 5,770 (44 percent) were under 30 years old and 7,471 (56 percent) were 30 or older. (More residents are older than 30 than younger).

While more victims were older overall, the ages of victims vary with the category of offense, particularly forms of sexual abuse.

Out of 108 forcible rape cases in which the victim’s age was known, 83, or 76 percent of victims, were under 30. More than half of all rape victims (64) were 17 years old or younger. There were 23 cases involving 12- to 14-year-old victims and 25 involving 15- to 17-year-old victims.

Victims of forcible fondling were also typically younger. Out of 139 cases in which the victim’s age was known, 109 fondling victims (or 78 percent) were under 17 and 64 (or 46 percent) were younger than 13.

Similarly, forcible sodomy occurred almost exclusively with younger victims, but that was out of a relatively small number of incidents, just 26. Nationwide, some 70 percent of 7,226 victims of forcible sodomy were under 18.

At the other end of the age spectrum, intimidation victims were more often older. Out of 3,547 cases in which the victim’s age was known, 62 percent were older than 30.

Overall, offenders were more often older as well. Out of the 13,215 cases in which the offenders’ age was known, 5,880 (44 percent) involved offenders under 30 years old and 7,335 involved older offenders.

By gender

Women were more often victimized than men, and men were more often the offenders in cases of domestic violence.

Victims were female in 68 percent of the 13,311 cases in which the victim’s gender was known. In every category of domestic violence in the data set, women comprised more than 60 percent of victims, including more than 90 percent of rape and sodomy victims.

Conversely, out of 13,298 cases in which the offender’s age was known, 70 percent were men, and in every category of domestic violence more than 60 percent of offenders were men.

Relationship to the victim

A dating relationship was the most common tie between domestic violence victims and offenders, followed by a marital relationship and then a parent relationship. Together, those three types of relationship defined 9,069 or 68 percent of incidents.

Following are the number and percentage of cases by relationship between offender and victim:

Boyfriend/girlfriend (5,327; 40 percent); spouse (2,221; 17 percent); parent or step-parent (1,521; 11 percent); sibling or step-sibling (1,099; 8 percent); child or step-child (1,011; 8 percent); other family member (940; 7 percent); ex-spouse (415; 3 percent); child of boyfriend/girlfriend (382; 3 percent); homosexual relationship (179; 1 percent); in-law (100; 0.75 percent); grandparent (85; 0.64 percent); grandchild (45; 0.33 percent).

About the data

We describe the underlying data as summary data because they are not available from the source at the “record level,” meaning individual cases. Instead it’s available only in summarized totals in a variety of predetermined formats. This limits our ability to reproduce the source’s calculations, and to group it in different ways that are as or more granular than the summary data provided by the source. For instance, age groups are in five- and 10-year “buckets” so it’s impossible for us to know how many victims were exactly 35 years old or 12 years old.

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