Domestic Violence Awareness Month
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically, but the constant of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
What Does Domestic Violence Include?
It’s important to note that domestic violence doesn’t always manifest in one specific way. Physical and sexual assaults, or threats to commit them, are the most apparent forms of domestic violence and are usually what makes others aware of the problem. But regular use of other abusive behaviors by the abuser, when reinforced by one or more acts of physical violence, make up a larger scope of abuse. Although physical assaults may occur only occasionally, they instill fear of future violent attacks and allow the abuser to control the victims’ lives and circumstances. A lack of physical violence doesn’t mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped. Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence.
How Can You Get Involved?
Find other Domestic Violence Awareness Month events across Utah at Stop the Violence Utah’s website: https://stoptheviolenceutah.org/get-involved/walk/
Resources From the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
More About Domestic Violence
How Prevalent is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is an alarming and pervasive problem in our country. NISVS data reports that on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the US. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. In just one day, across the US and its territories, NNEDV Census Counts 2011 report more than 67,000 victims of domestic violence sought services from domestic violence programs and shelters.
What Types of Services and Supports are Offered to Victims of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence shelters provide lifesaving support. If shelter did not exist, the consequences for victims would be dire: homelessness, serious losses including loss of their children, actions taken in desperation, or continued abuse or death. Nearly three-quarters of survivors (74%) rate the assistance they received from a domestic violence shelter as “very helpful,” with another 18% rating it as “helpful.” In just one day, 35,323 victims found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs.
What are the Personal and Societal Costs of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence costs our nation billions of dollars annually, including costs for medical and mental health care, lost productivity, and homicide lost earnings. Nationally, estimates of the medical cost burden of intimate partner violence against women age 18 and older, within the first 12 months after victimization, range from $2.3 billion to $7.0 billion dollars, depending on the research method used. Women experiencing physical intimate partner violence victimization have reported an average of 7.2 days of work-related lost productivity and 33.9 days in productivity losses associated with other activities.
How Prevalent is Domestic Violence Within LGBTQ Communities?
The limited research available on the topic indicates that LGBTQ identified individuals experience domestic violence at rates equal to or higher than those of non-LGBTQ people. According to the CDC, 44% of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, and 35% of heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. CDC data also show that 26% of gay men, 37% of bisexual men, and 29% of heterosexual men experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. In 2011, NCAVP documented 19 domestic violence homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people, the highest yearly total ever recorded by NCAVP and more than three times the 6 documented homicides in 2010. Everyone who experiences domestic violence deserves a safe space for reporting and receiving needed services and prevention efforts must be inclusive of everyone.
Is Domestic Violence Preventable?
Strategies to prevent intimate partner violence can effectively strengthen the health of our communities, saving both lives and dollars. An investment to stop intimate partner and sexual violence before they occur will protect and promote the wellbeing and development of individuals, families, and societies. Primary prevention has a track record of improving health and reducing costs. One study found that investments of $10 per person per year in health promotion programs could save the country more than $16 billion annually within 5 years and nearly $18 billion annually in 10 to 20 years. Preventing violence means changing our society and its institutions—eliminating those attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, environments, and policies that contribute to violence and promoting those that stop the violence. Community mobilization strategies offer the potential to build support and promote change at the grassroots level to ensure the long-term sustainability of social change.