BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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FAQ Detail
What is the difference between intimate partner violence and domestic violence?

Domestic relationships include intimate partners, immediate family members, and other relatives.

Intimate relationships are defined as current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends, including same sex relationships. Intimates are distinguished from

  • other relatives, such as a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, in-law, cousin
  • acquaintances, such as a friend, coworker, neighbor, schoolmate, someone known
  • strangers who are anyone not previously known by the victim.

Violence between intimates is difficult to measure because it often occurs in private, and victims are often reluctant to report incidents to anyone because of shame or fear of reprisal.

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