Fast Facts About Domestic Violence
Violence against women is never justified.
It is never a woman's fault.
It is a criminal offense.
Definition of Domestic Violence
Domestic or intimate partner violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners.
This includes, but is not restricted to, being:
- hit, hurt, pushed
- threatened or made to feel afraid by an intimate partner
- forced to have sex or do something you didn't want to do
- kept from your family, friends or from being in control of your own money
Effects of intimate partner violence on children can include:
- School difficulties
- Physical complaints
- Heightened aggression
- Fears and worries
- Trouble eating or sleeping
Did you know…
Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to exhibit behavioral and physical health problems including depression, anxiety, and violence towards peers.(1) They are also more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes.(2)
Fifty percent of men who frequently assault their wives assault their children(3), and the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect suggests that domestic violence may be the single major precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in this country.(4)
From 1987-1990, costs associated with adult victims of domestic violence amounted to $67 billion.(5)
A study conducted at a large health plan in Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota in 1994 concluded that early identification and treatment of victims and potential victims of domestic violence will benefit health care systems in the long run by reducing the costs associated with treating victims of abuse.(6)
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that an estimated ten percent of primary care physicians routinely screen for intimate partner abuse during new patient visits.(7)
Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause(8). Evidence exists that a significant proportion of all female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners.(9)
- Jaffe, P and Sudermann, M., "Child Witness of Women Abuse: Research and Community Responses" in Stith, S. and Straus, M., Understanding Partner Violence: Prevalence, Causes, Consequences, and Solutions. Families in Focus Services, Vol II Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations, 1995
- Wolfe, D.A., Werkerle, C., Reitzel, D. and Gough, R., "Strategies to Address Violence in the Lives on High Risk Youth." In Peled, E., Jaffe, P.G. and Edelson, J.L. (eds.), Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Women. New York: Sage Publications. 1995
- Straus, M., Gelles, R., and Smith, C., Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1990.
- U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995 A Nation's Shame: Fatal Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
- National Institute of Justice, 1996. Victims Costs and Consequences, A New Look. Washington, D.C.
- Wisner, C, Gilmer, T., Saltzman, L. and Zink, T. (1999). Intimate Partner Violence against Women: Do Victims Costs Health Plans More? The Journal of Family Practice, 48, No. 6 (June) 1999.
- Rodriguez, M., Bauer, H., McLaughlin, E., Grumbach, K. (1999). Screening and Intervention for Intimate Partner Abuse: Practices and Attitudes of Primary Care Physicians. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 282, No. 5, August 4, 1999.
- Horon, I, and Cheng, D., (2001). Enhanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality--Maryland, 1993--1998. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, No. 11, March 21, 2001.
- Frye, V. (2001). Examining Homicide's Contribution to Pregnancy-Associated Deaths. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, No.11, March 21, 2001