Statistics on Divorce and Domestic Violence


Part of the Divorce Reform Page, sponsored by Americans for Divorce Reform
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NOTE: Newer information on the same topics is available on The Divorce Statistics and Studies Blog. But a lot of important, pre-2008 information is collected only on this site, the Divorce Statistics Collection. So you should check both this site and the blog.

(See also Does divorce reduce children's exposure to family conflict?)

Domestic violence inversely related to marriage

Domestic assault & urban "community disinvestment", nonmarriage/divorce

"The more one learns about the crime of domestic violence, the less likely
it seems that the formal mechanisms of divorce law have much influence one way
or another in helping women escape their batterers. For one thing, most
batterers are not husbands. A 1991 Justice Department survey, for example,
found that more than two-thirds of domestic violence offenders were boyfriends
or ex-spouses, while just 9 percent were spouses. Cohabitating women,
according to one review of the literature, are four times more likely to
suffer severe violence than married women."
Gallagher in "End No-Fault Divorce?" (Maggie Gallagher debates Barbara Dafoe Whitehead) in First Things 75 (August/September 1997)


A recent study for the journal Criminology has revealed that "neighborhoods with larger portions of adults who are less 'invested' in marriage and residential stability are more likely to see higher rates of assault by African-American males." Analysis of the data reveals that "the proportion of residents without married couples...maintains the strongest relationship with intimate assault rates for African-Americans..." This leads to the conclusion that "lower levels of marital commitments and stable residents constitute...significant barriers to the development of social capital [an important determinant of healthy community life] among minorities."
Woodredge, J. and Thistlethwaite, A. (2003) Neighborhood structure and race-specific rates of intimate assault. Criminology, v41. Retrieved from The Family in America, April 2004.

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Originally posted and maintained by Americans for Divorce Reform; now maintained by John Crouch. You can call me at (703) 528-6700 or e-mail me through my law office's web site.