There's not one data set that fully provides a picture of the prevalence and pervasiveness of sexual and domestic violence in Massachusetts. Some data is available through reporting about service delivery...but that doesn't quantify all the survivors who have not had contact with a local program. Some data is based on police reports...but that doesn't account for immigrants, people who are LGBQ/T, or others who do not reach out to the police for help for a variety of reasons.
So as alarming as these number are we know that the magnitude of the problem is even greater.
Even with these caveats and limitations, the following incidence data* demonstrates how significant an issue this is in Massachusetts.
The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey data for Massachusetts residents surveyed was similar to the national data.** Nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men in MA have ever experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape. Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in MA have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives. More than 1 in 7 women have experienced rape.
2,337 unduplicated incidents of sexual assaults were reported to rape crisis centers in Massachusetts between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.*
Eleven percent (11%) of high school students and six percent (6%) of middle school students reported being physically hurt by a date sometime in their life.*
Between 2003 and December 31, 2012, JDI identified 266 victims of domestic violence related homicides and an additional 74 domestic violence homicide perpetrator deaths in Massachusetts.
* Data compiled from Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.
** Given the limited state-specific data available from this first year of NISVS, it is not yet appropriate to compare national NISVS rates to MA NISVS rates or to prior national studies.
Looking for more data?
Massachusetts Factsheets prepared by JDI.
Domestic Violence Factsheet (2019)
Sexual Violence Factsheet (2019)
Massachusetts Data Sources
Explore these government sources and reports for additional Massachusetts-specific reports and data on sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking.