Do Something about Assault | Peace Through Action USA

What is assault?

Assault is commonly described as the intent to cause harmful, unwanted, and/ or offensive contact with another person. Physical injury is not required, and often apprehension of contact is enough to warrant assault. Aggravated assault is a sub classification of assault, and generally indicates that the aggressor attacked, or meant to attack, with a weapon.[1]

[1] Cornell Law School. (n.d.). Assault. Legal Information Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/assault.

How widespread is assault in the United States?

  • In 2019 aggravated assault cases accounted for 68% of violent crimes reported in the United States.[2]
  • Those assaulted tend to be female with the majority of their assaulters personally known to them such as a spouse or family member.[3]

[2] FBI: UCR. (2019). Violent Crime. 2019 Crime in the United States. Retrieved from: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-2019/topic-pages/violent-crime.

[3] Victims of Crime. (2015). Assault. NCVRW Resource Guide. Retrieved from: https://victimsofcrime.org/docs/default-source/ncvrw2015/2015ncvrw_stats_assault.pdf?sfvrsn=2.

What culture changes and public policies are necessary for preventing assault?

While assault tends to occur for many different reasons, most agencies only track statistics related to assault in domestic abuse cases. Creating a better tracking system for all assault cases might give us a better idea of why assault occurs, and what steps we can take toward decreasing it.

What practical solutions are effective for assault?

Conflict resolution trainings, counseling services, and other early interventions have been shown to aid in decreasing assault in domestic situations, and these programs help keep offenders from reoffending after they are released.

What can I do to prevent or stop assault?

  • Domestic Abuse —If you or someone you know is involved in domestic abuse you can find both local and national resources by visiting: thehotline.org.
  • Women’s Resources for Domestic Abuse— national and local information and resources on women’s shelters and 24/7 support: womaninc.org.
  • In case of emergency—If you are experiencing or witnessing an emergency, call 911 or try to get to a location where others can observe your distress and intervene.

Where can I find statistics about assault?

Where else might I go to learn more about assault?

Information Sheet-Do Something-Assault (PDF)

Have a suggested improvement to this information sheet? Send it to inbox@peacethroughaction.org

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