Domestic Violence in the United States

• On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.
• Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some the 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. About three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male.
• Women ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence.

Violence and Young People
• 15.5 million Children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past a year and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
• 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.
• Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner – a figure that mirrors victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.

Consequences of Violence
• Women who have experienced domestic violence are 80 percent more likely to have a stroke, 70 percent more likely to have heart disease, 60 percent more likely to have asthma and 70 percent more likely to drink heavily than women who have not experienced intimate partner violence.
• 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

What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is not limited to only the physical battering of a person. In The Domestic Violence Sourcebook, psychologist and author Susan Forward have described abuse as “any behavior that is interceded to control and subjugate another human being through the use of fear, humiliation and verbal or physical assaults… it is the systematic persecution of one partner by another.” Many experts believe that emotional abuse may have longer-lasting implications than that of physical abuse. Many abusers use intimidation, looks, gestures, and loud voices to dominate their partner. (Berry J.D, Dawn Bradley (2005) the Domestic Violence Sourcebook Third Edition. Los Angeles: Lovell House Publishing.
According to The National Coalition against Domestic Violence, “Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

The Epidemic
Many researchers agree that domestic violence is not strictly a lower-class problem. Affluent women and men suffer from violence from their spouse as well. Domestic violence occurs amongst a variety of religions, ethnic backgrounds, economic and social standings, and sexual preferences. Domestic violence covers a wide array of violence between people including spousal battery, sibling violence, violence against children and children against parents. There are instances where women are the abuser and men are the victims; however, most domestic violence is committed by men against women.-Here is a graph of the cycle of Domestic Violence, further explaining why it is so difficult for victims to leave their abuser:

The OEW is committed to eliminating the possibility of domestic violence by ensuring that those impacted by domestic violence have the skills, training, and resources needed to heal and never re-enter, be exposed to or trigger domestic violence or the cycle of abuse in their lifetime. Through partnerships with local children’s homes and women’s shelters to provide support in a broad menu of ways, ranging from supply drives.