Domestic violence is any kind of behavior that a person uses to control an intimate partner through fear and intimidation. It includes physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, and economic abuse. Some examples of domestic abuse include battering, name-calling and insults, threats to kill or harm one’s partner or children, destruction of property, marital rape, and forced sterilization or abortion.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.
In 66% of female homicide cases, females are killed by a family member or intimate partner.
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
33% of women and 25% of men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.
72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.
6% of children in the U.S. are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.
Over 50% of men who abuse their wives also beat their children. Children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to develop alcohol and drug addictions and to become abusers themselves. The stage is set for a cycle of violence that may continue from generation to generation.
It takes an average of 7 attempts before exiting an abusive relationship. Some people have been victims of domestic violence for 30 or more years.
Reasons why the abused don’t leave their abuser:
- The victim fears the abuser’s violent behavior will escalate if (s)he tries to leave.
- The abuser has threatened to kill the victim, the victim’s family, friends, pets, children and/or himself/herself.
- The victim loves his/her abuser and believes (s)he will change.
- The victim believes abuse is a normal part of a relationship.
- The victim is financially dependent on the abuser.
- The abuser has threatened to take the victim’s children away if (s)he leaves.
- The victim wants her/his children to have two parents.
- The victim’s religious and/or cultural beliefs preclude him/her from leaving.
- The victim has low self-esteem and believes (s)he is to blame for the abuse.
- The victim is embarrassed to let others know (s)he has been abused.
- The victim has nowhere to go if (s)he leaves.
- The victim fears retribution from the abuser’s friends and/or family.
25% homeless women are homeless as a direct result of domestic violence. And more than 90% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse at some point in their lives.
Between 20% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse.
Between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser — 78% of all the women killed in the workplace.
Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8 million days of paid work each year.
The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year.