a serious problem
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. While domestic violence can happen in any relationship – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or other factors – the vast majority of victims who report violence are women abused by male partners or ex-partners.
- One in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, while 1 in 7 men has experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.
- Among women and men who experience rape, stalking or physical violence by an intimate partner, 81% of women and 35% of men report serious impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and injury.
- A woman is far more likely to be killed by her spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member than by a stranger.
Given these statistics, it is likely that you know someone who has been abused. They may be your friends and family members, your neighbors or co-workers. Domestic violence takes its toll on our communities as well, contributing to other forms of violence and suffering, burdening us with huge medical and criminal justice costs, and decreasing workplace productivity.
To stop domestic violence, we all need to be part of the solution. The following are some things that you can do to help:
Help a friend or family member who is being abused.
Let them know that the abuse is not their fault, listen to them, help them to identify resources and options, empower them to make choices for their safety, and provide nonjudgmental support and an opportunity for them to seek your support again.
Support your local domestic violence program.
Most hotlines, advocacy or shelter organizations could benefit from your time, financial support or other donations.
Speak up about abuse.
Let the person using violence or intimidation know their behavior is wrong and encourage them to seek help. If you see abuse, call the police. Doing nothing can make the abuse worse and even deadly.
Educate yourself and others.
Call your local domestic violence program to schedule informational workshops for your workplace, community group or church. Encourage schools to include abuse prevention as part of their curricula. The Domestic Violence Awareness Project at www.nrcdv.org/dvam offers a variety of tools and ideas to support your prevention education and awareness efforts.
Set an example.
Make a commitment to work for equality and ending violence in all of its forms. Model non-violent and respectful behavior through your everyday actions.