If you are in immediate danger, DIAL 911 – If you cannot call, TEXT 911 if you are in Chester County

24-hour Hotline

Call our 24-hour, free hotline 888-711-6270 or 610-431-1430

If you are in immediate danger, DIAL 911

If you are in immediate danger and cannot call TEXT 911

24-hour Hotline

Call our 24-hour, free hotline 888-711-6270 or 610-431-1430

If you are in immediate danger, DIAL 911

If you are in immediate danger and cannot call TEXT 911

Domestic Violence Center of Chester County  Freedom through Empowerment

Domestic Violence Center of Chester County  Freedom through Empowerment

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Intimate Partner Violence

  • The statistics vary slightly, but approximately 12 million Americans are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner annually – this equates to about 24 people per minute (8)
  • Intimate partner violence is very common: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are victim to some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (5)
  • Intimate partner violence is most common among women between the ages of 18 and 34 (5).
  • Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender (8).
  • On average, it takes a victim of abuse about 7 attempts before they finally leave their abuser – unfortunately, the violence often escalates after each attempt (9).

Teen Dating Violence

  • 1 in 3 teens, regardless of gender identity, experience dating violence each year (9).
  • Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse (2).
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18 (2).
  • 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue, or do not know what it is (2).
  • 1 in 4 teens in abusive relationships are abused via cellphone communication and texting (10).
  • Nearly 40% of teens engage in “sexting” – the act of sending and receiving sexually suggestive photos and messages – however, 61% of teens who have sent nude photos felt pressured by their partner to do so (10).

Abuse in Later Life

  • Every year, approximately 4 million older Americans are victim to physical and psychological abuse and neglect (7).

  • Adults who require assistance with daily life activities are at an increased risk for abuse (7).

  • 76.1% of physical abuse toward adults in later life is perpetrated by a family member (7).

  • Only 1 in 24 cases of abuse in later life is reported (7).

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

  • Nearly half of all women (48.4%) and men (48.8%) in the United States experience psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (8).

  • 95% of perpetrators who physically abuse their intimate partners also psychologically abuse them (5).

  • Psychological abuse is a stronger predictor of PTSD in women than even physical abuse – 7 out of 10 women who are psychologically abused will display PTSD symptoms (5)

Sexual Assault and Rape

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 59 men in the United States is a victim of rape in their lifetime (5).

  • Almost half of female (46.7%) and male (44.9%) victims of rape in the United States were raped by an acquaintance, often referred to as “date rape”. Of these, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner (6)


  • 66.2%, or approximately 2/3 of female stalking victims were stalked by a current or former intimate partner (5). Over 40% of male stalking victims were stalked by an intimate partner or acquaintance (8).

  • Repeatedly receiving unwanted calls or text messages is the most common tactic experienced by both male and female victims of stalking (8).

  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men experienced stalking in their lifetime that made them fear that they or someone close to them may be harmed or killed by the perpetrator (8).

  • 76% of women killed by their intimate partners were stalked first (12).


  • In the past decade, over 1,600 lives were lost to domestic violence related incidents in Pennsylvania (4).

  • 1 in 3 female and 1 in 20 male victims of homicide are killed by intimate partners (5).

  • A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders (5).

  • 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner (5).

The Role of Firearms

  • 44% of mass shootings between 2008 and 2013 involved intimate partners (13).

  • Approximately 4.5 million women in the United States have been threatened by intimate partners with firearms (13).

  • Access to firearms increases the risk of domestic violence homicide by at least 400% (13).

  • A ten-city study found that 1/5 of homicide victims with Protection from Abuse orders in place were murdered within two days of obtaining the order – 1/3 were murdered within one month (13).

Children and Domestic Violence

  • Over 15 million children in the United States live in households where partner violence has occurred at least once in the last year(3).

  • 1 in 6 children under the age of 17 witnessed a parent being physically assaulted in their lifetime. This figure rises to 1 in 4 children for 14 to 17-year-olds (3).

  • 30-60% of perpetrators of domestic violence also abuse children in the household (8).

  • Simply witnessing domestic violence has a negative impact on a child’s development, causing a high risk for interpersonal skill deficits, psychological and emotional problems such as depression and PTSD, and behavioral problems (3).

  • Children who observe parents engaging in violent conflict are more likely to use abusive behavioral patterns in their own relationships in both adolescence and adulthood (3).

  • The U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect suggests that domestic violence may be the single major precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in this country (8).

Human Trafficking

  • Sex Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person with the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age (13).

  • Labor Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude (13).

  • To prosecute the crime of human trafficking of individuals in Pennsylvania, you must establish that the trafficker committed an ACT (recruiting, enticing, soliciting, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, maintaining), accomplished by a MEANS (through force, fraud, or coercion), for the PURPOSE (“any sex act or performance involving a sex act for which anything of value is given, promised to, or received by any individual or which is performed or provided by any individual) (15).

  • There are three tenants that are the means to – and key to proving – human trafficking: force, fraud, and coercion. FORCE involves physical restraint/harm, sexual assault, and/or beatings. FRAUD involves false promises regarding employment, wages, working conditions, love, marriage, or a better life. COERCION involves the threat of serious harm or physical restraint, psychological manipulation, document confiscation, and shame/fear-inducing threats to share information or pictures with others or to report to authorities (13).

  • In 2019, Pennsylvania saw 678 arrests for selling sex but only 181 arrests for buying sex (15).

The Intersections of Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking

  • There is significant overlap in the patterns and behaviors of both abusers and traffickers that are used to exert power and control over a victim. Some examples include physical abuse, manipulation, threats, gaslighting, financial abuse/control, and more (16 & 17).

  • Intimate Partner Trafficking occurs when an abuser “compels their partner to engage in commercial sex, forced labor, or involuntary servitude. In some instances, a marriage or intimate relationship may be a fraud instigated by the trafficker from the start. The role of victims’ intimate partners in the initial phases of trafficking is strongly linked to trafficking for the purposes of forced sexual exploitation, with intimate partners being involved in 91% of these cases (16 & 18).

  • Human trafficking can also occur alongside domestic violence – particularly when other family members direct the forced labor (familial trafficking). 41% of trafficking cases involve a family member or family friend’s involvement – most often through the trafficking of children – and 68% of these cases are for labor trafficking (16 & 18).

Effect on the Workplace

  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year (6).

  • 1 in 8 stalking victims has reported losing work because of the stalking. More than half of these victims reported losing 5 or more work days (12).

  • Nearly 8 million days of work each year is lost due to domestic violence issues – the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs (8).

  • Between 2003 and 2008, nearly 33% of women murdered in their workplace were killed by current or former intimate partners (8)

  • Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse (6).