Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the United States - more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

The statement is false.

These were the leading causes of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States in 1996:

    NumberPer Cent
    Motor Vehicle Accidents1,504,11921.2%
    Accidental Falls1,243,53817.5%
    Other and unspecified environmental and accidental causes1,162,27216.4%
    Accidents caused by cutting and piercing instruments or objects515,9867.3%
    Sports injuries483,2236.8%
    Injuries purposefully inflicted by other than spouse or intimate399,2405.6%
    Overexertion and strenuous movements339,0144.8%
    Drugs, medicinal and biological substances, in therapeutic use166,6872.3%
    Injuries purposefully inflicted by spouse or other intimate153,5552.2%
    Injuries caused by animals137,6391.9%
    Accidental poisoning by drugs131,9281.9%
    Misadventures during surgical and medical care124,2301.7%
    Suicide and self-inflicted injuries102,3921.4%
    Struck accidentally by falling object87,4851.2%
    Caught accidentally in or between objects74,9951.1%
    Foreign body accidentally entering orifice other than eye69,5901.0%
    Accidental poisoning by other solid and liquid substances, gases, and vapors57,8460.8%
    Non-transport machinery accidents56,4550.8%
    Venomous animals and plants50,1110.7%
    Accident caused by hot substance or object49,7660.7%
    Foreign body accidentally entering eye and adnexa47,7880.7%

This data is taken from the 1996 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey Data File, which can be downloaded via ftp from the National Center for Health Statistics. Domestic violence, referred to in the table as "Injury purposefully inflicted by spouse or other intimate", accounts for 2.2% of injuries to women in this age group. Rather than being a larger cause of injury than "car accidents and other things combined", domestic violence causes only one-tenth as many injuries as motor vehicle accidents alone. And as any thoughtful person might expect, as a source of injuries domestic violence is well behind such everyday occurences as accidental falls and cuts.

Domestic violence is a problem. It is not, however, the leading cause of injury to women. It is not even remotely close to it. In the long run we will all be better off if discussion of this subject has some relationship to the real world.