Violence comes in multiple forms it’s the most common factor in just the United States to say the least. And even though many most victims don’t make it known to others or reach for help at the time the abuse/violence takes place, Yet society has been questioning as to why these victims don’t speak up! But before we get to that discussion let’s look at the current statistics in the United States alone, of domestic violence. 

Every year an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Those are just the statistics for physical assaults , there are many other forms of abuse. 

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

RAPE

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime.
  • Almost half of female (46.7%) and male (44.9%) victims of rape in the United States were raped by an acquaintance. Of these, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner.

STALKING

  • 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime. 60.8% of female stalking victims and 43.5% men reported being stalked by a current or former intimate partner.

HOMICIDE

  • A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.
  • 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.

CHILDREN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year.
  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year.
  • Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse.
  • Between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser, 78% of women killed in the workplace during this timeframe.

PHYSICAL/MENTAL IMPACT

  • Women abused by their intimate partners are more vulnerable to contracting HIV or other STI’s due to forced intercourse or prolonged exposure to stress.
  • Studies suggest that there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health effects have been linked with intimate partner violence including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy in general, miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine hemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.

So now to the discussion of why victims don’t speak up and stay in silence for a long time frame and or the rest of their lives?  Not that I’m speaking for the millions of victims but putting out knowledge of the obvious common sense. Most victims don’t speak up due to –

  • fear of the abuser or the consequences after speaking,
  • the fear of not being believed, the fear of being judged ,the fear of not getting a ear to listen to them but no help they know they need, and desperately want.
  • the fear of ruining any relationships within families or friends etc; 
  • Feeling Embarrassed
  • Or simply feeling they aren’t worthy enough to care about themselves to speak up
  • Feeling they are needed by others & their children to where they feel they need to stay in silence.
  • Lack of resources due to being trapped.

The reasons are endless but whatever the reasons they are all acceptable in my eyes because no one can sit and judge another’s reasons without having to be in the situation that person is in. We all know what we ourselves live in a daily basis not the next persons , so who are we to question and judge ?!. 

 

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Please feel free to join this discussion, comment to share your own story to help and motivate others. 

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