The recent initiative passed by the Obama administration to better investigate, prevent, and bring justice to sexual assault cases at American colleges addresses a fraction of the domestic violence epidemic happening in this country. Unfortunately, it is a pervasive issue.
The Truth About the Domestic Violence Epidemic
The sad truth is, similar violence occurs in American homes as well. Statistics surrounding domestic violence and abuse are staggering. One in four women and one in seven men are victims of severe physical violence in their lifetime. Furthermore, one in four women and one in three teenage girls have experienced abuse of some kind. To those who believe that abuse rates on internet and communication devices inflate these numbers, only 4% of abuse victims experience digital abuse alone.
For many, these horrible incidences occur at home or at school. Of course, it can happen at work as well (consider the rising numbers of sexual assault in our military). Whether sexual or non-sexual, violence by family members and current or former intimate partners afflicts children, teens, and adults alike. In fact, two-thirds of female domestic violence victims experience abuse at the hand of someone they know. Though abuse happens to both men and women, the United States Department of Justice reports that nearly 95% of domestic violence victims are female.
Causes of the Domestic Violence Epidemic
Typically, these incidents are spawned from the perpetrator’s power, control, and dependency issues. Jealously and possessiveness, as well as verbal abuse, are considered the most common predicting factors. Women who are abused by their male partners are often emotionally and economically compromised, which makes these situations both confusing and difficult to escape. Of course, the psychological impact can be as troubling as the abuse itself. Further, children that witness or experience abuse themselves are more likely to instigate or fall victim to domestic violence later in life. Sometimes these boys eventually grow up to be abusive men and girls grow up to believe the violence they witnessed as a child is a normal, unavoidable aspect of relationships, which is a distortion known as “battered women’s syndrome.”
There are myths out there that claim Super Bowl Sunday and heavy drinking holidays like St. Patty’s or Cinco de Mayo are days where domestic violence spikes. However, there is no day that holds any statistical significance in this matter, as an average 24 people victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner every minute (aka over 12 million Americans a year).
Help for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence of all kinds is a major problem all over the world. There are a number of domestic violence hotlines, resources, and shelters that provide assistance and safety to these individuals in the United States. For those who have managed to escape and survive these horrible situations, the next step is healing, both physically and emotionally. It’s not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to develop addiction from injuries or self-medicating their emotional pain. The hope is to raise awareness and help victimized men and women as much as possible.
If you or a loved one is a victim of the domestic violence epidemic, there’s no reason to suffer any longer. Reach out to Morningside Recovery at 855-631-2135 and we can help guide you in the right direction. Further, our mental health treatment options can help show the abuser healthy coping mechanisms and stop the cycle of abuse.
PBS. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/kued/nosafeplace/studyg/domestic.html
US News. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2013/01/31/is-domestic-violence-most-common-on-super-bowl-sunday
Pentagon Releases Startling New Statistics On Military Sexual Assault. (n.d.). PolicyMic. Retrieved from http://www.policymic.com/articles/72503/pentagon-releases-startling-new-statistics-on-military-sexual-assault
The National Domestic Violence Hotline RSS2. Retrieved from http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/statistics/