When I think of domestic violence I get sick. Most of us have been through it or known someone who has been through it. And if not, we still know about it. It’s a black plague on our society. That we can have advanced so far in the arts, technology, etc. yet still have people abusing their partners is just so backwards. We aren’t animals.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. (source: http://www.ncadv.org/need-help/what-is-domestic-violence)
Now, for some scary statistics. These are just a few from this wonderful site http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics. They are scary to read because while you know these things happen, seeing the numbers always makes it seem more real:
- Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
Wow. See what I mean? Seeing it all laid out like that is just frightening. That means that more than likely we all know someone who has been or is currently being abused. For the rest of the statistics, check out the link I posted above.
Now, how can we help? If you know someone is being abused, be there for them. If they ask for help, help in any way possible. Even if it’s just being there. They may be too afraid to leave the abuser and you have to understand that. Know that the abused person is fragile and in need of real compassion. There is a 24/7 confidential abuse hotline that they can also call for help: 1-800-799-7233 or for TTY 1-800-787-3224. They also have a website with all the information: http://www.thehotline.org/.
If you, or someone you know, are being abused please seek help! You are not alone, there are many survivors. You can do it there are a lot of people who love you and believe in you! No shame!