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What Percentage Of People Experience Violence?

Updated: Jun 25

The probability of experiencing violence in one's lifetime, whether at work or in personal life, varies based on several factors, including demographics, vocation, geographical location, and lifestyle. While specific probabilities can be difficult to quantify universally, existing data provides insights into general trends and risk factors.

What is Consider Violence

Violence is a broad term that encompasses a range of behaviors and actions that result in harm, injury, or suffering to individuals or groups. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual and can occur in various settings, including personal relationships, workplaces, and communities. Understanding what constitutes violence is essential for recognizing and addressing it effectively.

What Percentage Of People Experience Violence?
What Percentage Of People Experience Violence?

What are the odds of being assaulted?

Personal Life

  • Domestic Violence: According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

  • Sexual Assault: The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) states that every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Approximately 1 in 6 American women and 1 in 33 American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

  • General Crime: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the rate of violent victimization (which includes rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated or simple assault) was 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2018.

How common is violence in the workplace?

  • Workplace Violence: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. However, many cases go unreported.

  • High-Risk Occupations: Certain professions are at higher risk of workplace violence, such as healthcare workers, social services employees, late-night retail workers, law enforcement officers, and teachers. For example, healthcare workers are five times more likely to experience workplace violence than workers in other industries.

Risk Factors

Demographic Factors:

  • Gender: Women are more likely to experience domestic violence and sexual assault, whereas men are more likely to be victims of physical assault and homicide.

  • Age: Younger individuals, particularly those aged 18-24, are at a higher risk of certain types of violence, such as sexual assault and robbery.

  • Socioeconomic Status: Individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds often have higher exposure to violence due to factors like high-crime neighborhoods and limited access to resources.

Geographical Location:

  • Urban vs. Rural: Urban areas generally have higher rates of certain types of violent crime compared to rural areas.

  • High-Crime Areas: Living or working in areas with high crime rates increases the likelihood of experiencing violence.

Lifestyle Factors:

  • Substance Abuse: Both substance abuse and being in environments where substance abuse is prevalent can increase the risk of violence.

  • Social Networks: Individuals with social networks that include people with a history of violent behavior or criminal activity are at higher risk.

Mitigation and Prevention

Violence prevention refers to pre-emptive efforts aimed at stopping violence before it occurs. This involves addressing the causes and risk factors associated with violence, including social, economic, and environmental factors.

Where violence mitigation refers to strategies aimed at reducing the impact and severity of violence once it has occurred or when it is imminent. This involves immediate responses and interventions to manage and de-escalate violent situations. Key strategies for both include:

Personal Safety Measures:

  • Self-Defense Training: Learning self-defense can help individuals protect themselves in threatening situations.

  • Awareness and Avoidance: Being aware of one’s surroundings and avoiding potentially dangerous situations can reduce the risk of violence.

Workplace Safety:

  • Policies and Training: Implementing workplace violence prevention programs and training employees on how to handle violent situations can reduce incidents.

  • Environmental Design: Improving workplace design, such as better lighting and security measures, can deter violence.

Community and Support Services:

  • Support Networks: Access to supportive friends, family, and community services can help individuals cope with and prevent violence.

  • Legal and Advocacy Services: Utilizing legal protections and advocacy services can provide protection and resources for those at risk of violence.

While it's challenging to predict the exact probability of experiencing violence, understanding the risk factors and statistics can help individuals and organizations take proactive measures to reduce this risk. Violence prevention and self-defense education play crucial roles in empowering people to protect themselves and create safer environments.

Conflict Resolution Training and Self Defense Resources

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self Defense (CVPSD) is a non profit 501(C)(3) with a mission to stop violence by educating at-risk people and empower them with the skills needed to protect themselves by providing online and live training. 

Through workshops and seminars we educate participants about violence prevention and guide them on assessing risk factors while establishing boundaries in relationships. Additionally practical self defense classes equip people with hands on skills and effective strategies to prevent and intervene in cases of assault. CVPSD reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.


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