Posts tagged abuse

Domestic Violence is Everyone’s Problem


If you’ve been lucky enough to be in healthy, non-violent relationships your entire life you should remember that not everyone is so fortunate.  In fact, the statistics about domestic violence are shocking and disturbing:

  • Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.

    Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 183781, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at iv (2000), available at

  • Intimate partner violence made up 20% of all nonfatal violent crime experienced by women in 2001.

    Callie Marie Rennison, U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 197838, Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief: Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, at 1 (2003), available at

  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002:
    • Of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.
    • 84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female.
    • Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers
    • 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.

      Matthew R. Durose et al., U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 207846, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances, at 31-32 (2005), available at

The chances of someone you know and love living in an abusive relationship are staggeringly high.  No matter what your personal situation is, every single woman needs to be an activist for domestic violence awarness and prevention.

Check out this amazing new project:  a documentary entitled Power and Control. Part of the challenge with domestic violence is helping people realize why the victims stay; and what has to happen for them to be able to leave an abusive partner.

It is easy to look away.  Domestic violence is ugly, and terrifying even for those looking on.  No one wants to be responsible for someone else’s relationship.  But it is important to provide support–individually and as a society–for women who really want to break free and live a life free from fear and pain.


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Oprah and Friends on Domestic Violence

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