Domestic Violence Statistics in San Diego

Photo of downtown San Diego by night

Domestic violence remains a serious problem across the United States, as about 20 individuals are abused by their intimate partners each minute nationwide. This amounts to 10 million–plus men and women.

San Diego is no different when it comes to the prevalence of domestic violence in “the birthplace of California.” Let’s take an objective look at San Diego’s domestic violence situation, including recent domestic violence statistics in California’s San Diego county.

A Historical Glimpse at San Diego County Domestic Violence

Research shows that San Diego County witnessed more than 17,000 incidents involving domestic violence in 2018. In addition, an extra three homicide victims, like bystanders, lost their lives during these incidents, and five of the offenders passed away due to suicide. 

When it comes to domestic violence–related homicides, San Diego County saw more than 280 homicides during the 22-year period spanning from 1997 to 2018. These types of homicides made up around 14% of homicides countywide during this time frame. 

Within this 22-year period, more than 40% of the homicides took place in the county’s northern region. In addition, the county’s central region suffered the highest homicide rate per capita. However, every region in San Diego County experienced domestic violence–related homicides. 

All in all, more than 3,600 defendants ended up being prosecuted for domestic violence cases in the county during this period.

Today’s Domestic Violence Statistics in California’s San Diego County

Today, about 13 domestic violence homicides take place countywide each year.

Age and Race

Domestic violence homicide victims’ average age in the San Diego area today is 42 years, although the ages range from a low of 15 to a high of 95. In addition, Black individuals made up 15% of the victims, even though they comprise just 5.5% of the county’s population.


Along with being disproportionately black, San Diego’s homicide victims are mostly female: Males make up 16% of the victims, whereas the percentage is 84% for women. As a whole, women make up about one-fifth of homicide victims countywide but comprise over four-fifths of domestic violence homicide victims.

Additional Domestic Violence Statistics

During the past couple of decades, most San Diego County domestic violence homicides—66%—occurred in a townhouse/condo, apartment, or house. Meanwhile, just 9% of homicides occurred outside, and 6% took place in vehicles.

Violence Method Person holding fist in the air

According to domestic violence statistics in California, domestic violence homicides in San Diego County most frequently occurred due to shootings from 1997 to 2018, with shooting-related deaths making up 45% of these types of homicides. The next–most common methods of homicide in the county were stabbing and strangulation at 26% and 13%, respectively.

Relationship Statistics 

As a general rule of thumb, current spouses or unmarried partners made up most relationships between offenders and victims in the county’s domestic violence cases during the past couple of decades. The offender happened to be a previous partner in close to 30% of these cases. In addition, the offenders and victims were in same-sex unions, especially featuring males, in just 4% of such cases.

Fist Power Protest – Free photo on Pixabay


Statistics Related to Other Victims of San Diego Domestic Violence

From 1997 to 2018, several other people outside of offenders’ partners were killed in domestic violence incidents in the county. For instance, offenders sometimes targeted their former or current partners’ new intimate partners—also known as their romantic rivals. Likewise, it is not uncommon for offenders to murder the children of their domestic violence victims in an effort to get back at the victims. The murdered partners or children were 30 years of age on average.

Protect Yourself in a Domestic Violence Situation

If you are currently experiencing domestic abuse, I, domestic violence defense attorney Michael C. MacNeil, can help by showing you the variety of legal protections available to abuse victims, including various restraining orders.

If you are facing domestic violence or other criminal charges in San Diego, I will work hard to protect your rights and generate the results you’re looking for through a strong defense.

Get in touch with me today for a free case consultation, in-office, by phone, or in a virtual meeting. We’ll go over your unique situation and discuss the most appropriate next steps to take in our joint pursuit of justice.


About Michael MacNeil

Michael C. MacNeil is a San Diego Family Law and Criminal Defense attorney. With a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, MacNeil has a solid understanding of our justice system. As a member of the State Bar of California, MacNeal can practice before all courts in the state. MacNeil believes that the law should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status. With over 20 years of experience, Michael C. MacNeil is passionate about the law and will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for you. Call Mr. MacNeil at 858-922-7098.