In the fifth annual Family Income Study interview administered in 1992, women were asked
if they had been physically or sexually abused as adults.
Physical abuse of women by spouses occurs at least once in 20 to 30 percent of
households nationwide. National research on the sexual abuse of adult women is scarce;
however, studies indicate that at least 20 percent of women have experienced sexual
abuse and assault at least once during their lifetime.
This issue brief specifically addresses physical and sexual abuse of women on public
assistance as adults. Family Income Study survey findings show an alarmingly high rate of
physical and sexual abuse of women on public assistance in Washington State. Over half
of the women surveyed reported being physically and/or sexually abused as adults. The
majority of those who reported being sexually abused also reported being physically
abused by a spouse or boyfriend.