top of page

Domestic Violence Statistics of Virginia

"Every person in Virginia has the right to live free from fear of sexual and domestic violence. These crimes can leave a lasting impact on survivors, their families, and our communities."

Mark R. Herring Attorney General

2018 Attorney General's Annual Report on Domestic and Sexual Violence in Virginia


Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.


• 33.6% of Virginia women 1 and 28.6% of Virginia men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.

• In 2012, 17,664 domestic violence crimes were reported to Virginia law enforcement. Many others went unreported.

• In 2012, Virginia law enforcement made 20,718 arrests for domestic violence. Only 26% of these arrests led to convictions. Of the 1,016 felony charges, 90% led to convictions.

• Virginia police estimate there are approximately 31,000 active protective orders on file in the state at any given time.

• In 2012, 117 Virginians were killed in domestic violence-related homicides, comprising 34% of all Virginia homicides deaths (117 of 344). A majority were killed with firearms.

• As of December 31, 2015, Virginia had submitted 287 domestic violence misdemeanor and no protective orders into the NICS Index.

• In 2015, there were 124 family and intimate partner homicides in Virginia.

• In 2015, 56% (n=70) of family and intimate partner homicides in Virginia were committed with a firearm.

• In between 2006 and 2015, there were 15,254 active protection orders in the National Crime Information Center for Virginia, 7,998 of which had a disqualifying Brady Indicator.


• 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

• On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, approximately 15 calls every minute.

• Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

• Abusers’ access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner femicide at least five-fold. When firearms have been used in the most severe abuse incident, the risk increases 41-fold.

• 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these crimes are female.


• Upon convicting a defendant of misdemeanor stalking, Virginia courts immediately issues a stalking protective order that prohibits the respondent from possessing firearms.

• Virginia law prohibits respondents to permanent domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms.

• Respondents to temporary protective orders are prohibited from purchasing and/or transporting firearms.

• Although judges issuing protective orders do not have explicit authority to require respondents to surrender their firearms, courts are authorized to order whatever relief they deem necessary to protect victims and survivors. This authority applies to ex parte, preliminary and permanent orders.

• Respondents to protective orders are prohibited from carrying concealed weapons and must surrender their concealed carry permits upon being prohibited.

• Virginia can strengthen its laws to protect victims and survivors by

  1. Prohibiting domestic violence, dating violence and stalking misdemeanants from possessing firearms;

  2. Prohibiting respondents to ex parte and temporary protective orders from possessing firearms;

  3. Requiring prohibited abusers to surrender any firearms and/or ammunition in their possession;

  4. Requiring background checks for all gun sales and transfers; and o Requiring law enforcement to confiscate firearms when responding to domestic violence incidents.

1 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. Retrieved from 2 Ibid. 3 Attorney General of Virginia (2014). 2013 annual report: Domestic and sexual violence in Virginia. Retrieved from 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division: National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section (2016). Active records in the NICS Index as of December 31, 2015. Retrieved from 9 Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Health. Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (2018). Family and intimate partner homicide: A descriptive analysis of the characteristics and circumstances surrounding family and intimate partner homicide in Virginia, 2015. Retrieved from 10 Ibid. 11 United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) (2016). Gun Control: Analyzing Available Data Could Help Improve Background Checks Involving Domestic Violence Records. Retrieved from: 12 Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report. Retrieved from 13 National Network to End Domestic Violence (2015). 2014 domestic violence counts: A 24-hour census of domestic violence shelters and services. Retrieved from 14 Truman, J. & Morgan, R. (2014). Nonfatal domestic violence, 2003-2012. Retrieved from 15 Campbell, J.C., Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J., Block, C., Campbell, D., Curry, M. A., Gary, F., Glass, N., McFarlane, J., Sachs, C., Sharps, P., Ulrich, Y., Wilt, S., Manganello, J., Xu, X., Schollenberger, J., Frye, V., & Lauphon, K. (2003). Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study. American Journal of Public Health, 93(7), 1089-1097. 16 Violence Policy Center (2012). American roulette: murder-suicide in the United States. Retrieved from: 17 Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4, Va. Code § 18.2-60.3(E). 18 Va. Code § 16.1-279.1(A)(9), Va. Code § 19.2-152.10, Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4, Va. Code § 16.1-253.1, Va. Code § 16.1-253.4, Va. Code § 19.2-152.9, Va. Code § 19.2-152.8. 19 Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4. 20 Va. Code § 19.2-152.8, Va. Code § 16.1-253.1(A)(8), Va. Code § 19.2-152.9(A)(3), Va. Code § 16.1-279.1(A)(9), Va. Code § 19.2-152.10(A)(3). 21 Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:

111 views0 comments
bottom of page