What is Domestic Violence?
*Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten
*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.
We define 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 includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.
Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.
Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.
Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
Reproductve Coercion: Threats or acts of violence against a partner's reproductive health or reproductive decision-making and is a collection of behaviors intended to pressure or coerce a partner into becoming a parent, ending a pregnancy, and tampering with birth control methods.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.
Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.
National Statistics on Domestic Violence
*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 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.
*The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
*Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
*Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
*19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
*Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
*Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.
How Can You Help?
With domestic violence being painfully common across the county, we all know someone who has been impacted.
You might know someone right now and are wondering how to help.
Believe them - Survivors are often ashamed and embarrassed. If they feel comfortable enough to tell you about the abuse, believe it!
Support them - Isolation is a major tactic that abusers use. Survivors have survived the abuse because they know the abuser better than anyone. It is wise to take time to plan for safety before making big changes. Don't become frustrated and give up on them!
Empower them- Survivors have often times lost control of their own lives. They haven't been able to make desicions for themselves without first checking with the abuser. The abuser has talked down to them and made them feel worthless, hopeless, and powerless. Empower them to take the control back. This is done by supporting them and helping them to build confidence so they can take back their lives.
Educate them- Providing tools and resources to a survivor in a safe way can help to give them hope that support and help is available. You can connect them with a certified center, like Dawn Center, in your area to provide advocacy for them.
Break the silence and speak out against interpersonal violence. Create awareness in your community and within your family.
Dawn Center services are voluntary and we have a program for any survivor regarless of the stage of healing. Whether it's a shoulder to cry on, ears to listen, a voice to advocate for them, a teacher to provide life skills or education, peace of mind, comfort, and community resources, Dawn Center is there.
Dawn Center services are not biased. We will provide services to survivors of all genders, races, ages, religous affiliations, sexual orientations, and any other human characteristics but we do not provide services to abusive partners.