So here’s where we are on domestic violence five months after that Ray Rice elevator video surfaced:
Headlines. A few conversations. Brief moments of heightened awareness. A few Public Service commercials featuring NFL players. But not much else is really that different. Progress as well as any forward steps have been hard to find. Nothing that has broken the cycle of violence and pain.
And that needs to change.
Some basic facts about domestic violence everyone needs to know:
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
- More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.
- Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- At least 1/3 of the families using New York City’s family shelter system are homeless due to domestic violence.
- Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
- More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.
- 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year.
- More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.
- Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
- Children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
- Male children who witness the abuse of mothers by fathers are more likely to become men who batter in adulthood than those male children from homes free of violence.
- Domestic violence victims face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.
Men need to take the lead on this issue – we have the power to do what is needed, and we need to add our voices and raise the volume. If you’re a guy and you’re not speaking out against DV, you are part of the problem.
Stephanie Wright has undertaken a weekly challenge/focus of writing about DV at wrighterly.com, and I encourage everyone to read her 52 Mondays. She is well-spoken, thoughtful, and constantly insightful with her POV – calling attention to DV issues with strength and an eloquence that is sometimes lacking in my own posts.
You can also find more info at the following links:
This is where it starts.