Sexual Violence and the NISVS

   Valentine’s Day has recently passed, and with it came the making of new relationships as well as the renewal and maintenance of old connections. Thinking about the idea of domestic and teenage relationships in a public health context, I believe the safety of each individual in the particular relationship is crucial for the happiness and healthiness of the relationship itself.

   With this in mind, I wanted to shed light on a violence prevention initiative of the Center for Disease Control’s Injury Center. This particular item is the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). Established in 2010, it is based on a collection of data over the telephone regarding sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence victimization of American adults. It is a continuous survey that taps into accounts of past and ongoing experiences of violence. The goal of this project was to obtain more concrete and factual descriptions of violence forms of this kind in the US, as well as keeping track of the prevalence and commonality of sexual violence.

   The data collected for the year 2010 is intended to be the foundation for all future information obtained about this issue. To summarize, here are the main points determined for the results from this initial survey, taken from the NISVS Fact Sheet for 2010:

  • Women are disproportionately affected by sexual violence, intimate partner violence and stalking.
  • Female victims of intimate partner violence experienced different patterns of violence than male victims.
  • The majority of the victimization starts early in life.

   The specific data points summarized in these findings, as well as the CDC press release about the survey, reflect a high magnitude of this violence in the population, and on average, people become victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner at a rate of 24 people per minute. According to the survey results, out of five women, one has been raped, and out of seven men, one has been exposed to severe physical violence from an intimate partner sometime in their life. This information is extremely disturbing, and further emphasizes the importance of assembling this data for measures to be taken against this enormous and saddening problem.

   To learn more about the NISVS, visit the CDC website’s page on the initiative, and to learn more about sexual violence and intimate partner violence prevention, click the previous links. If you know someone affected by sexual violence or you yourself have been affected, call the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, also known as RAINN, hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. If you or someone you know has been affected by intimate partner violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.


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