Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. Source: Commonwealth Fund survey, 1998
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:
* Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
* 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
* Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers
* 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.
Matthew R. Durose et al., U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 207846, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, at 31-32 (2005), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/fvs.pdf
So it does seem like a much bigger problem than we generally think.
And it’s true that very often, a victim of domestic violence will choose the same type of partner in a subsequent relationship. So it can be a recurring problem.