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  • Violence Related Injuries

  • Violence Related Injuries


    AUGUST 24, 1997


    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."

    This information came from a US DOJ online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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