New methodology being used by the Department of Justice to measure crime rates has revealed that the cases of domestic violence and sexual assault previously reported may have been underestimated. With new techniques such as interviewing those in rural areas and more personal statements taken into account, the latest numbers reveal much higher rates of domestic violence than reported in the past. (Thanks for WomenseNews for the update!)
This rate increase could also be accounted for by the increase in unemployment which has shown to increase violence in the homes. See past post "Domestic Violence Increases with Unemployment".
The advantage of more accurately measuring the numbers of domestic violence and sexual assault cases is that it will hopefully put increased pressure on the Obama Administration to address the problem of violence against women in this country accordingly, by providing more funding and greater attention to the issues at hand.