Definitions & Statistics

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is defined as a pattern of emotionally, physically or sexually abusive behavior that one person uses in a relationship to control another person. It can occur in families and friendships, and the manipulation is often times very subtle.

TRAUMA is used to describe experiences or situations that are emotionally painful and distressing, and that overwhelm people’s ability to cope, leaving them powerless. Trauma has sometimes been defined in reference to circumstances that are outside the realm of normal human experience. Unfortunately, this definition doesn’t always hold true. For some groups of people, trauma can occur frequently and become part of the common human experience.*

“Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.” — Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery [Perseus Books] 



  • Research indicates that 11% of assault victims suffer 25% of all assaults over a 25-year period**

  • Women who experienced sexual abuse once are 46% more likely to be sexually assaulted again**

  • Child sexual abuse victims have been found to be 3-5 times more likely to experience subsequent adult victimization than respondents who had not experienced any type of child abuse**

  • Repeat victims suffer higher rates of mental health problems:
    Sexual revictimization is positively correlated with posttraumatic stress disorder
    symptoms (PTSD), peritraumatic dissociation, and sexual preoccupation

  • In New York City, police respond to an estimated 300,000 domestic and other violence calls per year— that is more than 820 calls every day [2016 data]

  • More than 80 percent of undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. without authorization have a lifetime history of traumatic events and
    the current socio-political climate and punitive actions against the undocumented community, may increase risk of exposure to traumatic events*** 


Centre for Nonviolence & Social Justice

** CDC Data

*** 2017 Rice University Study