Thursday, December 20, 2012

Understanding Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse/violence is often a misunderstood concept to many people. It is commonly thought of as only physical, and even when it is understood, many people do not realize the long term consequences of domestic abuse on the victim. Unfortunately, many people think of abuse as being equivalent to a marital mistake--you know, someone cheating one time, or breaking a piece of furniture in anger one time. The truth though, is that abuse is a habitual thing, and almost always hidden from people outside of the relationship. While it may be possible that you cannot understand it unless you go through it, I say that you don't have to empathize in order to sympathize. Understanding what domestic abuse is, is the first step to being able to sympathize and help a family going through or coming out of it. It is also the first step to preventing and ending it.

Facts on domestic violence, taken from http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm:

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. ("Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report," Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)
  • Police are more likely to respond within 5 minutes if an offender is a stranger than if an offender is known to a female victim. (Ronet Bachman, Ph.D. "Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report." U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice and Statistics. January 1994, p. 9.)
  • Battering occurs among people of all races, ages, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations, and educational backgrounds.
  • A battering incident is rarely an isolated event.
  • Battering tends to increase and become more violent over time.
  • Many batterers learned violent behavior growing up in an abusive family.
  • 25% - 45% of all women who are battered are battered during pregnancy.
  • Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation.
  • One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape. (U.S. Department of Justice, “Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women,” November 1998)
  • Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. (Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.)
  • Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. (Frieze, I.H., Browne, A. (1989) Violence in Marriage. In L.E. Ohlin & M. H. Tonry, Family Violence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Break the Cycle. (2006). Startling Statistics)
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. (Strauss, Gelles, and Smith, “Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence” in 8,145 Families. Transaction Publishers 1990)
  • Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members and property. (Peled, Inat, Jaffe, Peter G & Edleson, Jeffery L. (Eds) Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Women. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1995.)
  • 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household. (Edelson, J.L. (1999). “The Overlap Between Child Maltreatment and Woman Battering.” Violence Against Women. 5:134-154)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a national survey that 34 percent of adults in the United States had witnessed a man beating his wife or girlfriend, and that 14 percent of women report that they have experienced violence from a husband or boyfriend. More than 1 million women seek medical assistance each year for injuries caused by battering. (Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS); Horton, 1995. "Family and Intimate Violence")
  • The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are, on average, sentenced to 15 years. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1989)

Someone you know is dealing with domestic violence. It is worth your time and effort to understand it, and also to understand where to turn for help if it is you that is the victim. A great, comprehensive, and easy to understand website to get this information is:

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    ShareThis

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...