October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the focus is on speaking out. Last week, we shared a handy guide on Protection Orders from the Domestic Violence Act. This week, we look at some facts and statistics.
What is Domestic Violence?
According to Safe Horizon, the largest non-profit victim services agency in the united States, 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. Domestic violence also goes by other names, including:
- intimate partner violence
- relationship abuse
- spousal abuse
- family violence
10 Signs of Domestic Violence or Abuse
Some signs of domestic violence and abuse are more obvious than others. Below are a few of the most common signs of domestic abuse and violence, from safehorizon.com.
Does your partner ever:
- Accuse you of cheating and being disloyal?
- Make you feel worthless?
- Hurt you by hitting, choking or kicking you?
- Intimidate and threaten to hurt you or someone you love?
- Threaten to hurt themselves if they don’t get what they want?
- Try to control what you do and who you see?
- Isolate you?
- Pressure or force you into unwanted sex?
- Control your access to money?
- Stalk you, including calling you constantly or following you?
If you recognise these signs of domestic violence and suspect that you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact an organisation dedicated to assisting people in this situation. Women can contact Woman Inc.
Facts & Statistics
According to the 2014 Global Homicide Book, released by the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), domestic violence and homicides are closely linked.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
- Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.
- Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
- On average, 30 per cent of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.
- Globally, as many as 38 per cent of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.
- Violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.
- Risk factors for being a perpetrator include low education, exposure to child maltreatment or witnessing violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.
- Risk factors for being a victim of intimate partner and sexual violence include low education, witnessing violence between parents, exposure to abuse during childhood and attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality.
Most of the information on domestic violence focuses on women as the victims, but they can also be the perpetrators. According to the US-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in seven men aged 18 and over in that country has been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in his lifetime, and one in 10 men has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. Additionally, in 2013, 13 per cent of documented contacts to the National Domestic Violence Hotline identified themselves as males.