The Findings from the March 2022 Survey – California Study on Violence Experiences Across the Lifespan highlights an increase in reports of violence between 2020 and 2022 with physical violence doubling for men and victimization from sexual violence increasing during that time period as well for both men and women. Last week, VALOR hosted a web conference sharing the findings of this study.
1 in 6 California adults experienced some form of violence, including 1 in 7 Californains who expereinced some form of sexual violence or harassment. However, many populations face disproportionate levels of violence. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual Californians were more likely to have experienced sexual violence in the past year. This was true for all forms of sexual violence, including coercive, exploitative, and forced sex. Californians with a disability were more than twice as likely to have experienced violence in the past year. Latinx and Black Californians were more likely to have experienced physical violence in the past year. Californians with a history of homelessness were more than twice as likely to have experienced violence in the past year. Those experiencing financial distress in the past year, such as eviction or food insecurity were reported to have an increased risk of violence by 2 to 8 percent.
This study examined both rates of victimization and perpetration. For example, 1.5 million California adults admit to commiting acts of sexual violence in the past year. Men were more than twice as likely as women to report that they perpetrated sexual and intimate partner violence in the past year.
In order to reduce these rates of violence, there needs to be a shift in focus towards prevention and strengthening economic supports and violence prevention programs across the state. Pushing for policies that create economic security and safety nets for all Californians can help reduce these rates of violence and build a system that helps to promote equity and prevent the increase in the violence crisis in California.