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Publication Police Response to Domestic Violence, 2006-2015

Brian A. Reaves, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

May 2, 2017    NCJ 250231

Presents 2006-15 data on nonfatal domestic violence victimizations reported to police, the police response to these victimizations, the prevalence of related arrests or charges, and criminal complaints signed against the offender. Domestic violence includes serious violence (rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) and simple assaults committed by intimate partners, immediate family members, or other relatives. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which obtained victims' descriptions of police actions during their initial response to a reported crime and any follow-up contact with the victim.


  • From 2006 to 2015, more than half (56%) of the 1.3 million nonfatal domestic violence victimizations occurring annually in the United States were reported to police.
  • In 39% of reported victimizations an offender was arrested or charges were filed, with the majority of arrests occurring during the initial police response.
  • The victim or other household member signed a criminal complaint against the offender in about half (48%) of reported victimizations.

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National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

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