Domestic, dating and sexual violence are costly and pervasive problems in this country, causing victims, as well as witnesses and bystanders, in every community to suffer incalculable pain and loss. In addition to the lives taken and injuries suffered, partner violence shatters the sense of well-being that allows people to thrive. It also can cause health problems that last a lifetime, and diminish children’s prospects in school and in life.
In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data collected in 2005 that finds that women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.
Women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner.
Women are 84 percent of spouse abuse victims and 86 percent of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend and about three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male.
There were 248,300 rapes/sexual assaults in the United States in 2007, more than 500 per day, up from 190,600 in 2005. Women were more likely than men to be victims; the rate for rape/sexual assault for persons age 12 or older in 2007 was 1.8 per 1,000 for females and 0.1 per 1,000 for males.
The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 3.4 million persons said they were victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006. Women experience 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 and older, while men experience approximately seven stalking victimizations per 1,000 males age 18 and older.
Young women age 20 to 24 also experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, followed by those 16 to 19.10 People age 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking.
American Indian and Alaska Native women experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
One in five tweens – age 11 to 14 – say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half who are in relationships know friends who are verbally abused. Two in five of the youngest tweens, ages 11 and 12, report that their friends are victims of verbal abuse in relationships.
Teen victims of physical dating violence are more likely than their non-abused peers to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy diet behaviors (taking diet pills or laxatives and vomiting to lose weight), engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt or consider suicide.
The majority of nonfatal intimate partner victimizations of women (two-thirds) in the United States occur at home.Children under age 12 are residents of the households experiencing intimate partner violence in 38 percent of incidents involving female victims.
In a single day in 2008, 16,458 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing facility. Another 6,430 children sought services at a non-residential program.
In the United States in 1995, the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totaled $5.8 billion each year for direct medical and mental health care services and lost productivity from paid work and household chores. When updated to 2003 dollars, the cost is more than $8.3 billion.
Sexual and domestic violence are linked to a wide range of reproductive health issues including sexually transmitted disease and HIV transmission, miscarriages, risky sexual health behaviour and more.
If you would like to speak to a domestic violence counselor, contact the following resources for free, confidential support. These organizations are available from anywhere within the United States. Many operate 24 hours a day and in various languages.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, offers services in Spanish and English, with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services. The hotline provides crisis intervention, safety planning, information, and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network offers assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When calling the hotline, callers are automatically diverted to their area RAINN center where on-duty volunteers are available to answer questions, provide support, and suggest local resources.
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline offers real time chat and one-on-one support from peer advocates trained to offer support, information, and advocacy to those in dating abuse relationships. The helpline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offers translation services. Assistance via online chat services is available 4pm-2am CST.
National Child Abuse Hotline
Serving the U.S., its territories, and Canada, the National Child Abuse Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.
Stalking Resource Center, National Center for Victims of Crime
Victims in need of assistance can call the National Center for Victims of Crime Helpline for information on options, and referrals to local services anywhere in the country. The Stalking Resource Center also provides training, technical assistance and an information clearinghouse.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Through the hotline, you can report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, or request training and technical assistance, general information, or specific anti-trafficking resources.
Hot Peach Pages (International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies)
Hot Peach Pages is an on-line directory of world-wide abuse hotlines, crisis centers, refuges, shelters, and women’s organizations. Information on abuse is available in more than eighty languages.
Information provided by: Futures Without Violence