New Data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the 2015 Data Brief for the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). First launched in 2010 by CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, NISVS is an ongoing, nationally representative survey that assesses sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization among adult women and men in the United States. These forms of violence are associated with chronic physical and psychological adverse health conditions, and violence experienced as a child or adolescent is a risk fact for repeated victimization as and adult. 

Key Findings

  • Approximately 21% of women (25.5 million) and nearly 3% of men (2.8 million) in the U.S. reported completed or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime.
  • Nearly 1 in 6 women, or 19.1 million, and about 1 in 17 men, or 6.4 million, in the U.S. were victims of stalking at some point in their lifetime. 
  • About 1 in 4 women (29.2 million) and 1 in 10 men (11.8 million) in the U.S. experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of IPV-related impact, (e.g. being fearful, concerned for safety, injury, need for medical care). 
  • Across the majority of violence types measured, most first time victimization occurred prior to age 25 (71% of female victims and 56% of male victims), and many victims first experienced violence before age 18 (26% of female victims and 15% of male victims).

While this data is collected in a scientifically accurate way, ICADV still acknowledges that there are significant gaps in the data, specifically around marginalized communities (people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, etc.) This data is useful in tracking trends and gaining understanding of the rates of violence in the United States, however it only tells part of the story and it is important for us to remember that the NISVS survey is not a replacement for community engagement in our prevention strategies. 

Other Helpful CDC Documents

Connecting the Dots

Technical Packages for Violence Prevention