The recent initiative passed by the Obama administration to 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.
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. One in four women and one in three teenage girls have experienced abuse of some kind. To those who believe these numbers may be inflated by abuse rates on internet and communication devices, only 4% of abuse victims experience digital abuse alone.
For many, these horrible incidences occur at home or at school, though 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 are hurt by someone they know. Though abuse happens to both men and women, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that nearly 95% of domestic violence victims are female.
Typically, these incidents are spawned from the perpetrators power, control, and dependency issues. Jealously, possessiveness, and 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. 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 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. 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).
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.
. (n.d.). PBS. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/kued/nosafeplace/studyg/domestic.html
. (n.d.). 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
Statistics. (n.d.). The National Domestic Violence Hotline RSS2. Retrieved from http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/statistics/