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A look at the Alaska Victimization Survey

Alaska residents are probably all too familiar with incidents of domestic violence in the state, either through personal experience or through news reports. Since 2010, when the state published its first Alaska Victimization Survey on domestic violence, the state has not shied away from reporting incidents of domestic violence.

A recent survey shows the state still has work to do to lower incidents of domestic violence.

Findings from the 2020 survey

The University of Alaska at Anchorage Justice Center, which conducted the AVS, reported that 48 out of 100 women experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Survey responses also show that 41% of women experienced sexual violence at some point in their life.

When incidents of any kind of violence against a woman covered just the past year, the recorded rate fell to just over 8 women out of 100. The data from 2020 shows a mixed bag when it comes to improvements from previous surveys. While the yearly incidents of violence fell significantly from 2010, the lifetime incidents of domestic violence rose again after a recorded dip in 2015.

Findings on sexual violence

The survey separated results based on sexual violence that held categorizations of forcible sexual assault and sexual assault connected with the use of drugs or alcohol. These numbers did not change much from the three surveys, though the 2015 AVS showed slightly lower numbers of incidents than 2010 or 2020.

Domestic violence is a complex subject that often includes misunderstood facets. A look at what domestic violence means can help clarify the importance of a better understanding of this issue that is relevant to all Alaskans.