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Domestic violence and how to escape it

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence defined as any hurtful or unwanted behavior perpetrated upon an individual by an intimate or prior intimate. Domestic violence can include emotional/psychological abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse or economic abuse.

Domestic abuse is used as a form of control or manipulation by the abuser. Domestic violence can occur in a marriage or in a romantic relationship. Domestic violence can also be perpetrated by an ex-husband or ex-wife, or by anyone where there is a family tie.

Domestic Violence Statistics

Between three and four million women are abused by someone they trust each year in the United States. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the number one cause of injuries to women between the ages of fifteen and forty-four is physical domestic abuse. The numbers and statistics on file do not account for the countless cases of domestic violence which goes unreported.

  • About 25% of all attempted suicides by women can be attributed to women who are in abusive relationships.
  • Drug abuse is more prevalent in women who are being abused.
  • About 30% of all homicides against women occurs in a domestic violence relationship.
  • Nearly five million children witness acts of violence against their mother each year.

What You Should Know about Domestic Violence

Individuals who abuse their loved ones come from every economic and racial background. Many abusers have good qualities and most abusers do not look like they would be abusers. Abusers may have many friends, a successful career and show no outward signs to others that he or she is an abuser.

Physical violence can also be accompanied by other forms of domestic violence. Likewise, many times a woman may find herself in a domestic violence situation which does not involve any form of physical abuse. However, a woman who is being emotionally humiliated or threatened, verbally assaulted, sexually abused or economically exploited is a victim of domestic violence. Many women who are victims of domestic violence report that their emotional and psychological wounds have a deeper impact on their lives than the actual physical wounds.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. They will direct you to places in your area where you can seek help.

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