Once again, domestic violence is in the spotlight.  It seems that when it happens to famous celebrities, the world plays closer attention.  Then, other celebrities tell of their experiences and how they got out of their abusive situations.  If women were wise, they would listen to them and do everything they can to get away from someone who is battering or abusing them.

Here are some horrible statistics from the American Institute of Domestic Violence:

  • Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace
  • 85% to 95% of victims of abuse are women
  • Women are more likely to be attacked by someone they know than by a stranger
  • 500,000 women are stalked by an intimate partner
  • 5.3 billion women are abused
  • Of these, 4.1 billion victims require direct medical care and mental health care

According to the FBI, a woman is beaten every 15 seconds.  We live in a very violent world.  From teen dating violence to elder abuse, the scope is widening more and more.

There seems to be a vicious cycle:  boys who witness their fathers abuse their mothers are three times more likely to abuse their wives.  Many victims never report their abuse for fear of repercussions.  Domestic elder abuse is probably the most underreported crime. Almost 90% of elder abuse and negligence is done by family members.  Two/thirds of these “caregivers” are adult children or spouses.

Federal and state laws require that students be safe and protected at school.  Teen dating violence occurs often at school, whether it is pushing, shoving, or slapping a girlfriend/boyfriend.  This can escalate into further aggression; therefore, schools must do everything they can to educate students, teachers, administrators and school boards on the impacts of teen dating violence.  Programs that encourage self-esteem, healthy relationships and explain gender stereotypes can be very productive.
Law enforcement, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers all form partnerships to promote health safety and public awareness.  Communities and media should be educated and make all efforts to expose violent behavior and prevent it.

If you are in danger, get to a safer computer or call 911, your local hotline, U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224. If you know of someone who needs assistance, urge them to get help.

Los Angeles Committee on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW)
American Institute of Domestic Violence