Data highlight

Oklahoma ranks 39 (out of 51) for the rate at which women experience intimate partner violence (IPV). Kentucky had the highest rate at 45.3%. South Dakota had the lowest at 27.8%.


Percentage of women 18 and older who experienced psychological, sexual, or physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is when one person in a current or previous romantic relationship tries to control their partner using physical, emotional, or financial violence. Abuse can vary in frequency and severity and often includes multiple types.

Data considerations:

The data landscape of IPV is tricky for two primary reasons. 

    1. Though there are many different and often overlapping types of IPV, research focuses on its physical/sexual forms. Other ways people use to control partners, like psychological and economic abuse, are underexplored.


    2. IPV is underreported for a variety of reasons including fear, distrust of law enforcement or healthcare professionals, language barriers, and lack of resources. Only about half of all incidents are reported to law enforcement.

These challenges help explain why comprehensive data on intimate partner violence is dated. National data on the full range of IPV that included a state-by-state breakdown was last published in 2017 and analyzed survey results from 2010-2012.

Though they aren’t as comprehensive or comparable across states, there are several more recent datasets we can look at to understand how often Oklahoma women are experiencing IPV. 

In 2021, 3.5% of Oklahoma women reported they had experienced unwanted sex or violence by an intimate partner in the last 12 months. 30.3% indicated they had been hit, slapped, pushed, kicked, or physically hurt by a partner at some point in their lives.

Between 2011 and 2021, of the 437 Oklahomans killed by a current or former intimate partner, 300 (68.6%) were female and 137 (31.4%) were male. On average, 27 women and 12 men were killed each year in Oklahoma by an intimate partner. In 2021 and consistent with previous years, almost three quarters of the state’s intimate partner homicides were committed by men.

Through more recent and inclusive data collection and analysis, we know that women who are disabled, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and/or Black, Brown, or Indigenous, are more likely to experience IPV. 

Although Black women make up less than 10% of Oklahoma’s adult female population, they constituted almost 1 out of every 4 domestic violence homicide victims in 2020. Similarly, Native American women comprised 11.6% of adult female victims, a rate nearly 47% higher than their share of the state’s population.

Why we care:

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious, sometimes life-threatening experience for women. It’s linked to over half of female homicides nationwide. 

Even when not immediately deadly, IPV can still have profound and lifelong effects on a woman’s health. Survivors of IPV are at increased risk of mental health disorders (from trouble sleeping to substance use issues), traumatic brain injury, suicide, and a wide variety of other physical conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Women are often forced to abandon financial stability (see Women Experiencing Poverty), housing (see Experiencing Homelessness), and friends/family to escape an abusive situation. This is one reason some choose to stay even if they have safety concerns.

The social and economic consequences of leaving an abuser can be staggering – one estimate put the lifetime economic burden for a single female IPV survivor at $103,767.

Finally, decades of research shows that intimate partner violence negatively affects children in the home. Witnessing IPV is considered an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) (see ACEs Reported), putting Oklahoma’s youth at increased risk of child abuse/neglect, health issues, and continuing the cycle in their own intimate relationships.

What we can do:

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