Thursday, March 17, 2011
Domestic Violence-A Hidden Secret
They say a picture is worth a thousand words so, I will let this video speak for itself and just add that according to statistical data obtained from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) domestic violence affects roughly 32 million Americans and this only reflects the number of cases reported. I am so saddened by this issue that I just had to write about it. It is a serious problem that does not get nearly the attention it should. Here is some information that will surely surprise you...it did me.
In the United States 1/3 of domestic violence cases are never reported. Why?
Could it be shame or a lack of confidence that keeps women from speaking out against domestic violence? Or, perhaps the inability of resources designed to protect them from this type of violence in making women feel safe in coming forward for help?
The United States Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. This can be physical with threats of violence, throwing objects, harming pets, unwanted physical contact or rape and murder. Domestic violence can also be psychological involving mental and emotional abuse, economic and social control i.e. controlling victim's money or not allowing contact with friends and family...isolation.
Statistics from the End Abuse Organization states the following:
On average 3 women a day are murdered by husbands or boyfriends. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.
In 2008, the Center of Disease Control published data collected in 2005 that found women experienced 2 million injuries from intimate partners each year.
Nearly 1 in 4 women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.
Women are more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner.
Women represent 84% of spouse abuse victims and 86% of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend and about 3/4 of the persons who commit family violence are male.
The statistics are staggering and I could go on and on. One thing is for sure that no one in this type of situation goes unscathed. 15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year and 7 million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
2/3 of the majority of nonfatal intimate partner victimizations of women occur at home. Children under the age of 12 are residents of the households experiencing intimate partner violence in 38% of incidents involving female victims and in a single day in 2008, 16,458 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing facility. Another 6,430 children sought services at a non-residential program. This is a social issue that merits more attention than it receives.
How is it that in the United States, a country that prides itself on being a world leader in personal freedom and a guardian of human rights can domestic abuse/violence exist? If the video from the Coalition Against Battered Women: Domestic Abuse does not move you to tears then I don't have a clue what would.
For more info on Domestic Violence http://www.endabuse.org/ and http://domesticviolencestatistics.org .