Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Facts
Did you know?
One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
Children who witness
Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.
Sexual assault and stalking
One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape. Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of battering relationship. 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked in their lifetime.
Homicide and injury
Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner. In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder. Less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury. Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.
The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence.
Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes. Only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalking perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police.
Approximately 20% of the 1.5 million people who experience intimate partner violence annually obtain civil protection orders. Approximately one-half of the orders obtained by women against intimate partners who physically assaulted them were violated. More than two-thirds of the restraining orders against intimate partners who raped or stalked the victim were violated.
State domestic violence laws
States differ on the type of relationship that qualifies under domestic violence laws. In Colorado, state statute requires the perpetrator and victim have an “intimate relationship” which includes spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
To find more information on the domestic violence laws in your state, visit www.womenslaw.org
This information was provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Please visit their website for more information.
Safety Planning Strategies
If you are still in the relationship
- Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with weapons (kitchen).
- Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.
- Keep change with you at all times.
- Memorize all important numbers.
- Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.
- Think about what you will say to your partner if he/she becomes violent.
- Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence.
If you are thinking of leaving
Take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action.
- Social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children
- Your marriage license
- Leases or deeds in your, or both you and your partner’s, names
- Your checkbook and charge cards
- Bank statements and charge account statements
- Insurance policies
- Proof of income for you and your spouse (pay stubs or W-2’s)
- Documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.)
If you have left the relationship
- Change your phone number.
- Screen calls.
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.
- Change locks, if the batterer has a key.
- Avoid staying alone.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
- If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.
- Vary your routine.
- Notify school and work contacts.
- Call a shelter for battered women.
Red Flags/ Problem Behaviors
POWER & CONTROL WHEEL
HEALING & ACCOUNTABILITY WHEEL
1. Your Partner is disrespectful to you
2. Your Partner makes you uncomfortable by doing favors or being generous
3. Your Partner is controlling
4. Your Partner is possessive & jealous
5. Nothing is ever their fault
6. Your Partner is self-centered
7. Your Partner abuses drugs or alcohol
8. Your Partner pressures you for sex
9. Your Partner gets serious too quickly about the relationship
10. Your Partner intimidates you when he’s angry
11. Your Partner has double standards
12. Your Partner treats you differently around other people