• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Family Fact of the Week: Marriage Protects Women and Children from Violence

    New government data (PDF) reveals a continuing trend of declining marriage rates. More women have never been married, and cohabitation rates have increased steadily. And more children are born outside of marriage than ever before.

    The consequences of these trends include lower economic prosperity for families and an  array of poorer outcomes for children.

    Tragically, as marriage declines, even the very physical safety for women and children is compromised. Research reveals that both unmarried women (PDF) and children (PDF) living in family settings other than with their biological, married parents are at far greater risk of experiencing domestic abuse.

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that never-married women are over four times as likely to be a victim of domestic violence compared to married women. (Never-married women are also much more likely (PDF) to be victims of violent crimes besides domestic abuse, including rape.)

    Additionally, children living outside of married, biological-parent homes have a far greater probability of experiencing physical and sexual abuse. Most notably, children living with a single parent and the parent’s romantic partner are approximately 10 times as likely to be physically abused and 20 times as likely to be sexually abused. Even children living with both biological parents are at heightened risk of physical abuse (over four times as likely) and sexual abuse (nearly five times as likely) if their parents are not married.

    As marriage rates decline, more women and children are exposed to living situations that jeopardize their safety. As policymakers look to ways to address violence against women,  rather than expanding top-down approaches of questionable effectiveness, efforts to promote and strengthen marriage are critical.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Family Fact of the Week: Marriage Protects Women and Children from Violence

    1. None of the studies cited come anywhere near the conclusion that marriage is solution to any of the underlying problems, and you provide no additional rational or explanation to support that finding. Perhaps calling this the "Conspiracy Theory of the Week" would be more accurate.

    2. Bobbie says:

      What Heritage writes is totally understandable when you're married to a real man that needed no outside guidance or influence than within his own and not the pansies being developed under government rule as kevinjohnrogers implies he is.

    3. Kat says:

      I am victorious; victim no more.
      Agree, Bobbie!
      Pansies is pretty accurate.
      "Men have been gven a free ride to 'Never-Never Land"
      Sad, so many have taken the bait.
      Where have all the real men gone?

      Watch "Courageous"; THAT is what real men do.

      Women must insist upon real men.

      Kathy

      • Bobbie says:

        absolutely right, Kat! There are real men but it is a shame so many are fed the influence of ignorance. Thank you for mentioning "Courageous." We do want to see it! The trailer itself is inspirational and emotional!! Every person with self respect or deprived of it should see it! God Bless you!!

    4. So how do we bring this neo-colonialist, male fanstasy to pass: Do we do like with abortions and require unmarried women to look at pictures of bloodied and battered children who are victims of male partner violence before they let their "boyfriends" move in?". I mean the really good thing about that is we don't have to do anything about the actual violent males except get some unwitting female (which apparently they already are because they didn't smell the coffee of marraige already) to partner up with them for life and presto -"they live happily ever after." I mean there are the alcoholic, unfaithful, gambling, workaholic husbands, the ones who divorce their wives when their fifty with no means of support because "they gre apart while the guy conquered the world and the wife took care of the kids, her parents and his parents…"

    5. "…(Never-married women are also much more likely (PDF) to be victims of violent crimes besides domestic abuse, including rape.)…" (From the story above!) Pinch me! Did I really read these words in a "respectable" publication in the United States of America or am I dreaming Taliban literature in English? Those women without a man for life – they are just asking for bad things to happen to them when they "go out" or for a big strong man to rescue them…like J Edgar Hoover with the undergarment fetish, or the spate of guys taking their brides on vacations to third world countries where they disapppear, or the ones who "only beat you when they are sober, so you're all right."

      • Bobbie says:

        How dare you suggest to generalize men don't and shouldn't have or be expected to have self control. What kind of weak and pathetic low life are you?

    6. @Wakepedia says:

      Nothing like hyperbole, Michael, on presumed Talibanic and colonial reasonings, to set the day in motion.

      Sure beats dog meat and jokes about going to Kroger and hearing "How Much is That Doggie in the Window" play in the background, no?

      But one gets the impression, henceforth, that only colonial powers and Talibanic warriors believe in marriage. Far from the case, from an historical and cultural point of view; marriage predates religion by eons and is the main societal foundation on which the rest of culture is built. One must guess, conversely, that your perverted mock is meant to inspire confidence that the handy dandy baby bar fly lifestyle of just hooking up for the night or diggin' all the rage on "relationships" (the latest buzzword of any arrangement of shacking to polyandry) is just dandy for building a society.

      Having said that, even libs like William Henry III knew that Britannic influence on "colonialism" is what made US (dandy to keep in mind) and bequeathed to the planet modern law and ethics.

      No, they didn't come from cultures that put bones in their noses or ate dog meat. Sorry to burst the PC, Multi-Cultural bubble, but when even Progs like the late Yale scholar chime in, it's time for a double take for libs. Diggable?

      Perfection is the enemy of the good, and as we don’t live in a perfect universe, and perfection therefore is not attainable. No one says therefore that marriage is a cure-call to every ill, misfortune, or problem in human society and on behalf of the kiddies. But it’s a better model by yards and light-years than the “hook up and see what the hell happens” model that is now prevalent in much of the West, with the US leading the way behind Sweden in out of wedlock births which in turn provide a rich tapestry of the usual pathologies like overdependence on government and welfare outlets, to crime, and many more goodies we all have come to know and love so much in the daily police blotter.

    7. @Wakepedia says:

      Overheard at a bar from Sandra Fluke "Let's go back to your place–I'll be Progenitor A, and you can be Progenitor B!"

    8. Greg Dallas says:

      The hostile response to this article just amazes me. The conclusion seems so obvious that the data is unnecessary, yet not only is it rebutted, but violently. I think it strikes a nerve among those who feel it necessary to pretend that natural marriage is not a haven for men, women and children. Sorry but it is true, and if it undermines your worldview perhaps you should take another look at your worldview.

    9. Bud in Colo says:

      You are so right-on about the greatly increased risk to women & children in today's "multi-whatever families". It seems every time you read a story about child & spousal abuse resulting in death, the last names of all the involved are different.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×