Violence - What is it?
Domestic violence is a
pattern of violent and/or coercive behaviors that a person
uses against an intimate partner in order to gain power and
control in that relationship. The behaviors exerted can
include physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuse.
Domestic violence is not
about losing control or an inability to manage anger. It is
about the misuse or abuse of power to exert control over
another human being. The most common forms of domestic
Sexual assault, including pressured, coerced, or
Threats of violence against the victim, others,
Destruction of property
Violence against pets
Stalking and harassment
Intimidation, humiliation, degradation
Use of children to control the adult victim
Exploitation or belittlement
Threats or use of weapons
forms of oppression
Prevalent is Domestic Violence?
Studies have revealed that:
Every nine seconds in the
United States a woman is battered.
The leading cause of death
in pregnant women is homicide.
Domestic violence is the
single most common cause of injury to women, more than
auto accidents, rapes and muggings combined.
Every year three to four
million women are beaten by their husbands or boyfriends,
and every day, an average of three die.
Women of all races are
vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner
Nearly 25 percent of
American women report being raped and/or physically
assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting
partner, or date at some time in their lifetime.
Twenty to thirty percent of
visits by women to emergency rooms are the result of
battering by their husbands or boyfriends.
More than a quarter of a
million women each year experience intimate partner
violence during their pregnancy.
Annually, at least half a
million women are stalked by an intimate partner.
Intimate partner violence is
primarily a crime against women. National crime survey data
shows that men commit 95 percent of all assaults on female
spouses or girlfriends. In 2001, women accounted for 85
percent of the victims of intimate partner violence and men
accounted for approximately 15 percent of the victims. Women
are much more likely than men to be killed by an intimate
Forty percent of all women
murdered are killed by their husbands or boyfriends whereas
less than four percent of murders of men are from intimate
The estimate is that 10
percent of all men killed are murdered by an intimate
partner, with a significant percentage attributed to a woman
acting in self-defense.
How do I know if someone is a Victim of Domestic Violence?
are sometimes warning signs that domestic violence is
occurring in a relationship.
These warning signs can include:
One partner frequently
checks up on the other (by listening in on phone calls,
constantly asking about whereabouts, calling a person at
work all day, checking a person's car mileage).
One partner not allowing
the other to have guests over to the home when the other
partner is not present (this can include family or
Visible injuries or an
attempt to cover or hide injuries.
One partner putting the
other down (name-calling, public or private humiliation,
or making the other partner feel crazy).
Evidence of destruction of
property such as holes in walls, broken furniture, or
doors and windows that do not latch.
One partner trying to
control or isolate the other, for example, by telling her
not to see certain friends or family members, keeping her
away from school or work, making her stay home when she
wants to go out.
One partner acting jealous
One partner cutting off
utilities or denying access of the telephone to the other.
One partner threatening to
hurt the other partner, or that partner’s friends, family
members, or pets.
One partner forcing the
other to engage in sexual activities in ways or at times
that are uncomfortable.
Displaying anger in a way
that scares the other partner or others.
One partner blaming the
other for all of the family’s problems.
The use of dominating or
intimidating body language.
One partner minimizing or
denying the concerns of the other.
A lack of police incident
reports or arrests is not an indication that intimate
partner violence has not happened. Law enforcement is rarely
involved with families where domestic violence is occurring.
It has been suggested that the most lethal and dangerous
situations never come to law enforcement or other system