Domestic violence is an extremely serious issue that everyone must be made aware of. It can affect anyone and often be hidden in plain sight. Domestic violence is a sensitive topic, so many people are not very comfortable speaking about it. Let’s look at five facts about domestic violence that are essential for understanding this epidemic.
Firstly, domestic abuse is fairly common. According to Psychology Today, a woman is beaten every nine seconds. Twenty million people are abused by a significant other every minute, which equals about 10 million people per year. IPV, or “intimate partner violence,” makes up 15% of all violent crimes. This is a crime that affects people in every nation and every demographic. It can affect our closest friends and family without us even knowing, so we need to be aware of the signs and red flags. Also, both men and women can be victims of domestic violence. Studies have found that 40% of domestic violence victims are men, and 1 in 4 men have been in abusive relationships. Although women are the primary victims, no gender is safe from this crime. Men experience IPV and often feel a sense of stigma and embarrassment or shame to admit they are victims.
As we mention stigma, it is important to note that abuse victims tend to face victim-blaming culture. People often ask victims if they did anything to provoke their abuser; the truth is there is never a valid excuse for anyone to execute violence against another person. Abuse should never be present in a romantic relationship or a parent-child relationship for any reason. Those who commit these acts of violence are bound to repeat their actions. In addition, leaving an abusive situation is not as easy as it might seem. Many victims are severely frightened to leave their abuser for reasons such as lack of financial security and fear of their abuser’s reaction. There are countless cases of abusers going as far as killing their victims when they attempt to escape.
Lastly, responding to abuse can have its challenges. As stated before, domestic violence is a sensitive topic, and many people find it difficult to know what to do to help someone struggling with this issue. Some suggestions for helping a loved one in this position would be to listen and believe them when they choose to discuss this with you. If you can, offer them a place to stay or financial assistance, and call the police if you witness a violent act.