Domestic Violence: Statistically Speaking


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As a followup to my three-part series, I decided to look at some statistics about Domestic Violence. Some of the things I looked at hit me right in the face. So, I decided to share them with you.

According to Dr. Toby D. Golds at Psych Central, researchers find victims of Domestic Violence (DV) likely:

  • Have poor self image,
  • Are economically and emotionally dependent on the abuser,
  • Are uncertain of his or her own needs,
  • Have low self esteem,
  • Have an unrealistic belief that he or she can change the abuser, and
  • Believe the jealousy is proof of love.

Boy, does the above describe me in 1971 and throughout my four-year marriage to my abuser. The next to the last one really smacked me in the face…head-on! I can see this one for sure. I also think that his mother was hoping that I could change him for the good. If I’m not mistaken, she once told me that she was hoping I could. No one can change another if the other doesn’t want to change.  I saw him change after he went to Alcoholic Anonymous (AA). That was years after our divorce. However, he fell off the wagon, as they say, so many times after that. I don’t think he actually really changed until his health became so serious and he had a heart attack and quadruple by-pass. His mother told me at his memorial service that he had rededicated his life to Christ and found peace. I hope he did and finally found peace. Sorry, I regress….

According to statistics gathered by the Feminist Majority Foundation in 2014:
  • One out of four American women may experience violence by an intimate partner sometime during her lifetime, and
  • Women, aged 16 to 24, are the most likely to be victimized by their intimate partners.

In addition,

  • African American women experience more DV than white women in the age group of 20 to 24.
  • Both African American and white women experience the same level of DV in all other age groups, and
  • Hispanic women are less likely to be victimized than non-Hispanic women in every age group.

Approximately 40-50% of female victims are physically injured when assaulted by their intimate partner, accounting for over 110,000 visits to hospital emergency room visits each year. However, only about one in five DV victims with physical injuries seek professional medical treatment.

Police reported in 2014 that of all DV murders, 74% of the murdered victims were women, murdered by their intimate partners, while 26% of the murdered victims were men, murdered by their intimate partners.

According to the FBI, between 1976 and 1996, a 20-year time span, DV claimed the lives of more than four women per day.

To get a clear picture of this, I added it up:

365 days per year X 4 women per day = 1,460 women killed each year

1,460 women X 20 years = 29,200 women killed between 1976 and 1996

It’s important to remember, this is the FBI reporting, so that means just in America. This number does not reflect the number of women killed throughout the world by DV.

Police indicate that there is a significant under reporting of DV incidents. The most common reason for not reporting DV to police is the victims view that the incident is a personal or private matter, as they fear retaliation from the abuser and do not believe police will do anything about the incident.

DC Metropolitan Police Department reported in 2014 that even with this under reporting, approximately 49% of violent crime calls they received were DV incidents.

DC Metro Police conducted an internal investigation into their effectiveness in responding to DV calls. They surveyed DV victims following their police officer’s response to the victims calls. DC Metro Police discovered that their officer’s response was frequently inadequate. For example, in only one-third of the DV calls did an officer take photographs or ask the victim about prior abuse. Additionally, only 17% of the victims were asked about the need of a restraining order. Further, 83% of the victims were not provided with any printed information or contact/resources for assistance. Therefore, DC Metro Police Department’s internal affairs investigation found there was a “clear and pervasive pattern” of departure from their own departmental policy and procedures. This was just two-years ago, in 2014, in Washington, D.C.!

In 1971 through 1975, during my own DV situation, in the small little towns of Lawrenceburg and Frankfort, Kentucky (Frankfort happens to be the Capital of Kentucky), I too had no assistance from police. I too had the same fear of calling police, as I knew that they would only:

      • Tell my abusive spouse to leave the home for the night, or
      • Arrest him for the night.

Either one of the above would result in a sound beating for me the next day, if I had either:

      • Called the police, or
      • Had him put in jail for the night.

Therefore, I was one of the many who would:

      • Not report, and
      • Not seek assistance for my injuries.

Further, even upon the rare instances my neighbors called police upon my behalf, in 1971 through 1974 in these small towns there were no known (to me) available resources or contacts that could assist me.  Police sure did not provide me with any assistance upon the rare times they did show up at my home.  At that time, there were no DV shelters (that I was aware of).  But, I’m happy to say that both towns now have seen fit to ensure DV shelters are available for women and children.  I remember when the first DV shelter was started in the Capital City of Frankfort, Kentucky.

I’d like to hear from you, my readers:

  • Have you experienced DV, or do you know someone that has experienced DV? 
  • Have the series of articles I’ve written been beneficial to you or a loved who may have shared their experience with you?
  • I’m thinking about doing another follow up on how DV affects other members of the family; specifically, the children (although thankfully, my child Never had to experience it.)  Is that something you’d be interested in?

Please let me hear from you.

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