Survey finds nearly 20 percent of women in Utah experience domestic violence

SALT LAKE CITY – New data released by the Utah Department of Health showed that nearly 20 percent of women in the state have experienced some form of domestic violence.

The data was based on a 2016 poll of ten thousand men and women.

According to the report, 18 percent of women and ten percent of men surveyed said they have experienced some form of intimate partner violence (IPV).

Data courtesy the Utah Department of Health

IPV, also referred to as domestic violence, is defined as violence that occurs between two people who are in a close relationship. This can include physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, emotional abuse, and mental abuse. IPV can also occur in the form of emotional or sexual abuse via electronic communication.

Other findings from the UDOH report showed:

  • IPV disproportionately affects low-income households, females, and adults who were divorced, separated, or unemployed.
  • Among Utahns who experienced IPV, 26.1 percent of those aged 18-34 experienced IPV in the past 12 months, compared with 10.1 percent of adults aged 35-49, and 3.9 percent of adults aged 50 and older.
  • Less than 15 percent of Utahns who experienced IPV reached out for help. The most commonly reported reasons for not seeking help include believing the abuse will stop, believing the person who physically hurt them will find out that they disclosed the abuse, not wanting help, or believing their children would be taken away from them.

The report stated that certain professionals are legally obligated to report instances of IPV to law enforcement:

“Health care providers are required by law to report child abuse, elderly/vulnerable person abuse (including persons with
disabilities) contact DAAS Adult Protection Reporting at 1-800-371-7897; or online at daas.utah.gov/adult-protectiveservices/aps-form/,
and any assault that occurs when one person inflicts an injury on another person, even if that person
is a loved one (Utah Statute 26-23a-2).”

If you or someone you know has experienced IPV, help is available by calling the Utah Domestic Violence Link Line at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or the Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 1-888-421-1100.