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Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

  • Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.

  • Other terms for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence.

Who is Most Likely to Suffer from Domestic Abuse or Become a Victim of Domestic Violence?

  • Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.

  • Women and men can be victims of domestic violence.

How Many Men are Domestic Violence Victims?

  • Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults in the USA.

How Often Does Domestic Violence Occur?

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.

Why Does Domestic Abuse Happen?

  • No victim is to blame for any occurrence of domestic abuse or violence.

  • While there is no direct cause or explanation why domestic violence happens, it is caused by the abuser or perpetrator.

When and Where Does Domestic Violence Occur?

  • Domestic violence is most likely to take place between 6 pm and 6 am.

  • More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.

What Happens to Victims of Domestic Violence?

  • 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.

Domestic Violence in America: General Statistics and Facts

  • 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.

What are the Effects of Domestic Violence on Children?

  • 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.

  • Children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.

What are the Effects of Domestic Violence on Mental Health?

  • Domestic violence victims face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.

  • Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors including chronic conditions such as heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders.

  • Most women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence were socially isolated and had few social and financial resources.

What is the Economic Cost of Domestic Violence?

  • Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.

What Happens if Domestic Violence Victims Do Not Receive Help?

  • Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.

  • Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.

#1 FACT: Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.

  • Help change the facts. Speak up, speak out, and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.

LINKS for more information on Domestic Violence: