WHY IT MATTERS
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
Domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence) can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors. Domestic Violence is a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses, former spouses, those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship.
The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, and isolation to coerce and to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but may remain a hidden and constant terrorizing factor. Domestic violence is not only physical and sexual violence but also psychological. Psychological violence means intense and repetitive degradation, creating isolation, and controlling the actions or behaviors of the spouse through intimidation or manipulation to the detriment of the individual.
Domestic violence destroys the home. No one deserves to be abused. The responsibility for the violence belongs to the abuser. It is not the victim's fault!
- One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
- Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
- Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men.
- Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
- Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.
- Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
- Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
- Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
- Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
- Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
- Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
- Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
- The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
- Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
- Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
- Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
- 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
- Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers.
- 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.
- Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
- Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
- A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
- A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.
- Domestic violence is most likely to occur between 6 pm and 6 am.
- More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.
- According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families.
- In New York City, 25% of homeless heads of household became homeless due to domestic violence.
- Survivors of domestic violence face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.
- Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors. For example, chronic conditions like heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders can become more serious due to domestic violence.
- Among women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence, most were socially isolated and had fewer social and financial resources than other women not injured because of domestic violence.
- Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
- Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.
- Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.
Most domestic violence incidents are never reported. Help change the facts. Speak up, speak out, and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.
Does Your Partener?:
- Embarrass you with put-downs?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Take your money or paycheck, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
- Make all of the decisions?
- Tell you that you're a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
- Threaten to commit suicide?
- Prevent you from working or going to school?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault, or even deny doing it?
- Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
- Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
- Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
- Threaten to kill you?
- Hit, shove, slap, kick, punch, or choke you?
- Threaten to hurt or kill you?
- Call you names or tell you that you are crazy?
- Criticize things you do or say, or criticize how you look?
- Hurt your pets or destroy things that are special to you?
- Blame you for the abuse he or she commits?
- Limit where you can go, what you can do, and who you can talk to?
- Unexpectedly check up on you at your workplace, home, school, or elsewhere?
- Force you to have sex, perform sexual acts you're not comfortable with, or sexually assault you?
- Threaten to have you deported?
- Apologize and tell you it will never happen again (even though it already has)?
- Control all your money and finances?
- Keep you away from family and friends?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. There are people who can help you. You are not alone. Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, a doctor, or a help center. Talking with someone can help you make the changes you need to stay safe.
Why Get Help?
The Danger Is Real!
If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous.
If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.
Domestic violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs.
Everyone has the right to feel safe in a relationship. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you find resources in your area. This nationwide database has detailed information on domestic violence shelters, other emergency shelters, legal support and assistance programs, and social service programs.
Call 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
Call 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
Visit this WEBSITE