Success in the Media


The press release and related data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics web site remains the latest data on the subject. Posted by request.

BJS SUNDAY, AUGUST 24, 1997 202/633-3047


Approximately 17 percent Injured by Intimates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hospital emergency departments
treated approximately 1.4 million people for non-fatal
injuries from confirmed or suspected violence during 1994,
the Justice Department announced today. Of these injuries,
1.3 million were confirmed to have been caused by violent
attacks. An additional 82,000 people were injured in
incidents of suspected violence.

The Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
said 94 percent had been injured during assaults, 5 percent
had been injured during rapes or sexual assaults and 2 percent
during robberies. Sixty percent were males.

Almost half of the victims were injured by someone they
knew, and 23 percent were injured by strangers. In almost
30 percent of the incidents, the relationship between the
person inflicting the injury and the patient was not recorded.

The data released today are from the first study of
“Violence-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency
Departments,” which the Consumer Product Safety Commission
administered for BJS. Earlier estimates of difficult-to-measure
violence, such as domestic violence, varied greatly because
of differences in collection methods and the willingness or
the ability of victims to participate in the various surveys.

The new hospital study showed that approximately
243,000 people (17 percent) were treated for injuries
inflicted by someone with whom they had an intimate
relationship–a spouse, former spouse, boyfriend,
girlfriend or former boyfriend or girlfriend. This was
four times higher than the estimates of the number of such
crime victims treated in hospital emergency rooms as
measured by BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey,
one of the nation’s principal sources of crime victim data.
The following chart reflects the relationship between the
emergency department patients and the alleged offenders by gender:

Alleged offender Male patient Female patient

Spouse or former spouse 1.8% 15.9%
Other relative 6.6 9.5
Boyfriend or girlfriend 2.7 20.9
Other friend 16.5 15.5
Other acquaintance 8.7 4.9
Stranger 28.9 14.0
Not reported 34.8 19.3

Children younger than 12 years old represented about
5 percent of all patients treated for violence-related
injuries. Twenty-nine percent of these, about 22,000
children, were treated because of a suspected or an
actual rape or sexual assault. In almost all cases of
suspected sexual abuse, The records did not include the
outcomes of hospital examinations or other investigations.

Among injuries for which the place of occurrence was
reported, almost half (48 percent) were sustained in
someone’s home. Twenty-nine percent were in or near a
store, an office or a factory.

Bruises and contusions accounted for just over
one-third of the injuries, and cuts, stab wounds or
internal injuries comprised 31 percent. Fractures, sprains,
dislocations, dental injuries or other muscular/skeletal
injuries made up 17 percent. Head injuries accounted for
4 percent. Gunshot injuries were 5 percent.

Medical records cited alcohol and/or drugs in about
14 percent of the violence-related injuries. About one-fifth
of these injuries sustained by men occurred in or near bars
or restaurants, many during what were characterized on the
emergency room records as “bar fights.”

The special report, NCJ-156921, was written by BJS
statistician Michael R. Rand. Single copies may be obtained
from the BJS fax-on-demand system by dialing 301/251-5550
or calling the BJS Clearinghouse number 1-800/732-3277. This
document and additional information about BJS are available
on the BJS home page under the “What’s New” section.
The Internet address is:
Additional criminal justice materials can be
obtained from the Office of Justice Programs
homepage at:


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