|There is so much to understand and things to know about domestic violence (DV).|
It impacts the health and well-being of those families involved, but also has an impact on communities and society. Research is conducted regularly on DV, and it has its own national awareness month. Yet, with all of the knowledge already available, the impact of domestic violence is still a massive social issue:
Facts about Domestic Violence (DV)
- 37% of women admitted to an emergency room admitted for violence-specific injuries were abused by a partner
- 1.3 million women are physically abused every year in the United States
- 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence (putting them at risk of mental health issues and an increased risk of violence to themselves)
- Most incidents still go unreported, especially by men, LGBTQ and immigrant communities
- 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by intimate partners annually
- IT EXISTS EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD, regardless of country, class, or community
Above list of statistics provided by Breakthrough
Myths about domestic violence (DV)
We need a greater understanding of the perception of domestic violence (DV) and some misconceptions of it as well–both from within the family, as well as on the outside–in communities and society.
There are multiple forces that intersect with DV and learning more about the below factors can aid to combat it:
- DV does not discriminate by gender
- Many do not know they are living with DV
- Many do not understand why someone living with DV doesn’t just leave
- The cost (societal and economic) of DV
- DV is often cyclical
Domestic violence (DV) impacts people of all genders
For the most part, society generally knows that more women are impacted by DV. Yet, one in three men have experienced DV, according to surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And half of all men in the US report that their intimate partner has been psychologically aggressive, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
In order for DV to decrease, it is important that not only women, but men and those in the LGBTQ community, also feel that they have resources to help them cope with domestic violence. The British Medical Journal conducted studies and offers suggestions of how to combat DV for all genders.
Many do not know they are living with domestic violence (DV)
Many people who are abused do not put a name to their violent home life. They think something is not right in the home, but they do not know that labeling it may actually help them gain greater awareness and seek help afterwards. DV also has fewer visible forms of abuse than physical violence including intimidation, control, isolation, thrown objects, insults with children present, and so on.
More so, The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters conducted a report in 2016, that shows that 25% of men do not consider verbal abuse as violence. Yet research shows that heated arguments ARE a form of abuse and are equally damaging to the recipient, impacting mental and behavioral health.
Why doesn’t someone just leave the home if living with domestic violence (DV)?
It is not always easy for one to leave their home if living with DV. There is the concern of the perpetrator lashing out. It becomes a risky time where one may face additional threats, stalking, withholding of finances, or children being put in the middle to make decisions they cannot and should not have to handle on their own.
For society and individuals, it’s important to be supportive if you know someone living with DV. You may not be able to help directly, but listening, sharing any knowledge of resources, and expressing concerns free of judgment is the best way to help. Additionally, patience is needed: Those who want to leave will make, on average, 7 attempts of leaving and returning before succeeding.
The cost of domestic violence (DV)
You may not know of anyone directly facing DV, but perhaps you are an employer, employee, pay part of your health insurance premiums, pay taxes, or simply watch the news occasionally. Everyone is impacted in some way:
- $37 billion a year is spent in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies
- Survivors of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year
- Between 21-60% of survivors of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse
- 50% of all homeless women and children in the U.S. are fleeing domestic violence
Domestic violence (DV) is a cycle
Domestic violence can be linked to childhood domestic violence (CDV), which occurs when a person grows up living in a home with domestic violence. Children of domestic violence are 2-3 times more likely to repeat the cycle of violence in adulthood. Growing up with domestic violence is the single best predictor of whether or not someone will become a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence in adulthood.
“So, if we don’t address Childhood Domestic Violence, how can we solve the problem of domestic violence? It’s like trying to solve lung cancer without addressing the problem of smoking.”
~ Brian F. Martin, Founder of Childhood Domestic Violence Association
Additionally, research shows children see 90% of the violence that occurs and its profound impact often lingers long after they’ve left their childhood homes. The statistics connecting child abuse, domestic violence and CDV show how critical it is to understand what CDV is. Understanding CDV enables the complexities of DV to also be better understood.
How to Stop Domestic Violence (DV)
Sharing what you know to help yourself and others connect the dots is key to building greater understanding of domestic violence. Breaking through the misconceptions and assumptions of DV, even with the breadth of research and awareness, is also essential in decreasing DV.
Help someone living with DV:
- Understand DV targets all genders
- Help those you know by listening, offering advice, and know their limitations and your own
- Do not judge those that have not left the home- the situation can be risky and complicated
- Understand how CDV and DV connect- by combatting both at the same time, you can help break the cycle of violence
- Know that the cost, both human and capital of DV, impacts everyone
To learn more about the things to know about domestic violence (DV), CDV and our work, visit cdv.org.