When do we speak of domestic abuse and violence? The NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic violence) describes it as the “physical assault, willful intimidation, sexual assault, battery, and/or any other abusive behavior that’s perpetrated by an intimate partner toward or against another.”
Often, domestic abuse is characterized by physical abuse accompanied by mental and/or emotional abuse, controlling behavior, and dominance. The following video explains a lot as Emma Murphy tells about how she broke her silence about domestic violence at a recent TEDxUniversityofNicosia event.
Domestic abuse and violence have been on the rise since the beginning of time. Increasingly, in the 20th and 21st centuries, advocates have spoken out on behalf of domestic abuse victims. Laws have also been enacted to protect victims, but domestic abuse and violence are still under-represented in legislation and enforcement of the domestic abuse laws.
To continue to move forward in a successful fight against domestic abuse and violence, we must, absolutely, constantly educate the public to the point where victims realize there is a way out and there is help for them.
Many women who go through domestic violence and abuse don’t tell others what they’re going through and many have spent long hours or even days or weeks in hospitals due to their spouses’ abuse. Often, they can’t say anything because they are afraid of what may happen if they would speak up and this happens so much more than you’d think.
Everyone is affected by domestic abuse and violence. You are either the victim, know someone who’s a victim or are impacted by the abuse practiced on victims. Domestic abuse and violence is an equal opportunity abuser—encompassing all demographics.
Knowing and recognizing the signs of domestic abuse and violence are paramount in winning the fight. Just as victims are often shamed into silence and try alternative ways to improve their relationships, many are becoming too ashamed to remain silent in the face of such help being offered.
In an age when victim support is readily available, victims will find many resources to help them. The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) is a great starting place to obtain help and other resources.
Although the help is available and the advocates and organizations are moving quickly on victims behalves, we just have to let victims know that it’s okay to say “no” and leave that horrible situation and avoid situations that may cause severe damage like heart attacks in assaulted women. And until that happens, we will always have an uphill battle against domestic abuse and violence.
Facts on Domestic Violence
• One in four women will fall victim to domestic violence at a point in her life.
• One in five men will become a domestic violence victim at a time in his life.
• 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women. An estimated 1.3 million American women are victimized each year. This will prevent them from finding a way to live a healthy lifestyle!
• A majority of domestic violence incidents are never reported to police. It’s estimated that a mere 25 percent of physical assaults are ever reported.
• It’s estimated that between 40 to 45 percent of relationships involving domestic violence also include sexual battery and/or rape.
• Fewer than 20 percent of all rapes that occur in a domestic abuse situation are ever reported to the authorities.
• Less than 20 percent of women who are injured during an act of domestic violence seek medical treatment for their injuries. This will definitely not keep them young, happy, and healthy! So, for health’s sake, seek help!
• Children who witness acts of domestic violence involving their parents are at the highest risk of becoming an abuser in the future. Children tend to model their parents’ behavior, which results in the perpetuation of the domestic abuse cycle from one generation to another.
• Males are more than twice as likely to become an abuser if they’re raised in a household where they’re exposed to acts of domestic violence involving their parents.
• Domestic violence has a high correlation with mental illness. Domestic abuse victims account for more than 18.5 million mental health care appointments each year in the United States alone.
• One-third of all murdered women are domestic violence victims who were killed by their abusers. We MUST find a way to stop this!
• In the U.S., the cost of domestic violence broaches $6 billion dollars per year. Of this expenditure, health care (mental health and treatment for physical injuries) accounts for more than $4 billion.