DefinitionDomestic violence-related fatalities are reported as the number of resident deaths 18 years and older resulting from a domestic dispute per 100,000 population.
NumeratorNumber of deaths resulting from a domestic violence-related incident among Utahns 18 years and older.
DenominatorTotal number of persons 18 years and older in the population of Utah.
Data Interpretation IssuesThe data included in this indicator include a broader definition of domestic violence that encompasses all situations involving not only family members, current or former spouses, and live-in partners, but also current or former dating couples and others who intervened (intentionally or unintentionally) in these violent relationships.
Why Is This Important?Domestic violence is a preventable public health problem that encompasses many forms of abuse. It exists along a continuum from a single episode of violence that could be physical, sexual, or emotional to ongoing battering to death such as homicide or suicide.
There are nearly 7.7 million injuries and 1,200 deaths nationwide every year due to intimate partner violence, a type of domestic violence which only includes abuse that occurs between current and former spouses and dating partners.
Domestic violence is often overlooked and underestimated. The gaps that exist and impede the prevention of domestic violence fall with the scope and services of public health. It is an issue that affects individuals, families, and communities. It has a negative effect on health throughout life and more resources are needed to prevent further occurrences of domestic violence in Utah.
Healthy People Objective IVP-39:(Developmental) Reduce violence by current or former intimate partners
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category
Other ObjectivesHealthy People 2020 subobjectives for IVP-39: (Developmental) Reduce violence by current or former intimate partners:
* IVP-39.1: (Developmental) Reduce physical violence by current or former intimate partners
* IVP-39.2: (Developmental) Reduce sexual violence by current or former intimate partners
* IVP-39.3: (Developmental) Reduce psychological abuse by current or former intimate partners
* IVP-39.4: (Developmental) Reduce stalking by current or former intimate partners
How Are We Doing?The 2003 to 2008 Utah domestic violence fatality rate was 0.8 per 100,000 population 18 years and older.
*One out of three adult homicides are domestic violence-related and approximately 12.0% of suicides are domestic violence-related.
*There is approximately one domestic violence-related homicide and three domestic violence-related suicides each month in Utah.
*Females are 10 times more likely than males to die from domestic violence-related homicides while more males than females commit suicide related to domestic violence.
*The majority of domestic violence fatalities involved a firearm. [[br]]
Domestic violence-related deaths are only the tip of the iceberg. The 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System showed that 14.2% of females reported experiencing intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Females 45-54 years of age (19.2%) and 55-64 years of age (22.2%) had a statistically higher reported lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence compared to the overall prevalence.
Of the females who reported intimate partner violence, 7.8% indicated that they experienced abuse in the past 12 months.
The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System reports that 10.9% of Utah's high school students have experienced dating violence.
There are 15 shelters that provide domestic violence-related services in Utah. From July 2009 to June 2010, the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) reported that 2,965 men, women, and children stayed in domestic violence shelters throughout the state. In addition, there were 4,619 domestic violence-related child abuse referrals in Utah.
In 2010, adverse childhood experience (ACE) questions were included in the Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). ACEs include verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, as well as family dysfunction. ACEs have been linked to adverse health outcomes. Among the ACE questions that were asked, the most prevalent was emotional abuse at 37.9%. The prevalence of physical abuse was 17.1% and witnessing domestic violence as a child was 12.4%.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Statistics on domestic violence vary because of differences in how it is defined and how data is collected, therefore it is difficult to compare Utah to other states as well as the U.S. as a whole.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, established by the Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP), meets regularly to review all adult domestic violence-related fatalities. This process aids in the development of protocols to improve agency response and/or interventions for victims and perpetrators. In addition, the committee works together to establish a unified multi-agency approach to domestic violence in order to reduce the rate of domestic violence-related deaths in Utah. The committee has published three reports, Intimate Partner Homicide in Utah, 1994-1999; Domestic Violence Fatalities in Utah, 2000-2002; and Domestic Violence Fatalities in Utah, 2003-2008, which include statistics, agency recommendations, and available resources for victims of domestic and intimate partner violence. Other recent reports include the Emergency Department Staff Survey on Intimate Partner Violence, 2009 and Clinical Guidelines for Assessment and Referral for Victims of Domestic Violence, A Reference for Utah Health Care Providers, 2008. VIPP has also released a 2008 Intimate Partner Violence in Utah fact sheet.
These are available at http://health.utah.gov/vipp/domesticViolence/DVData.htm.
Health Program InformationThe mission of the Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is to promote the health of Utah citizens by working to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries and resultant deaths. The goals are to a) focus prevention efforts on reducing intentional and unintentional injury, b) conduct education aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors that contribute to the occurrence of injury, c) strengthen local health department capacity to conduct local injury prevention programs, d) promote legislation, policy changes, and enforcement that will reduce injury hazards and increase safe behaviors, e) collaborate with private and public partners, and f) improve the Utah Department of Health capacity to collect mortality and morbidity data from multiple sources and conduct injury epidemiology for use in prevention planning, implementation, and evaluation.