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Family Fact of the Week: Marriage Protects Women and Children from Violence
Posted By Rachel Sheffield On April 25, 2012 @ 2:00 pm In Featured | Comments Disabled
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 .
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.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/04/25/family-fact-of-the-week-marriage-protects-women-and-children-from-violence/
URLs in this post:
 data: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr049.pdf
 a continuing trend of declining marriage rates: http://familyfacts.org/charts/150/the-proportion-of-married-adults-has-decreased
 more children are born outside of marriage than ever before: http://familyfacts.org/charts/205/four-in-10-children-are-born-to-unwed-mothers
 lower economic prosperity: http://familyfacts.org/briefs/31/family-structure-and-economic-well-being
 array: http://familyfacts.org/briefs/35/family-structure-and-childrens-education
 poorer outcomes: http://familyfacts.org/briefs/26/marriage-and-family-as-deterrents-from-delinquency-violence-and-crime
 unmarried women: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ipv.pdf
 children: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/abuse_neglect/natl_incid/reports/natl_incid/nis4_report_congress_full_pdf_jan2010.pdf
 much more likely: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cvus0801.pdf
 expanding top-down approaches of questionable effectiveness: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/the-violence-against-women-act-reauthorization-fundamentally-flawed
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