Some facts on domestic violence
from the Silent Witness web site
Domestic Violence: A National Crisis-Everyone's Issue Fifteen hundred American women are murdered by husbands or boyfriends each year. (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics-1996)
Fifteen hundred Silent Witnesses from all fifty states participated in the Washington, DC "March to End the Silence." Each state's Silent Witnesses represented the number of women murdered by domestic homicide in one year of the state's history. (Silent Witness National Initiative) American women have more to fear from the men they know and once loved than from any stranger. (Jane Brody, New York Times) A third of all women's injuries coming into our emergency rooms are no accident. Most are the result of deliberate, premeditated acts of violence. And frequently they occur over and over until the woman is killed. (Dr. Kevin Fullin, American Medical Association, public service ad, Time magazine)
Thirty-four percent of the women homicide victims over age 15 are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends. (National Women Abuse Prevention Project) Approximately two-thirds of reported domestic violence incidents are classified as "simple assaults," which is a misdemeanor rather than a felony. But up to 50 percent of these "simple assaults" result in physical injuries that are as, or more, serious than 90 percent of all rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. (NOW Legal Defense Fund) Violence Begins at Home; Children and Crime as a Result of Domestic Violence
Eighty-one percent of men who batter had fathers who abused their mothers. (New Jersey Dept. of Community Affairs, Division on Women) Children who grow up in violent homes have a 74% higher likelihood of committing criminal assaults. (Survey of Massachusetts Dept. of Youth Services)
Costs of Domestic Violence in the Workplace Each year, medical expenses from domestic violence total at least $3 to $5 billion. Businesses forfeit another $100 million in lost wages, sick leave, absenteeism and non-productivity. (Colorado Domestic Violence Coalition)
Who Is At Greatest Risk for Domestic Violence? Women ages 20 to 34, and increasingly, adolescent girls. Women who abuse alcohol or other drugs or whose partners do. Women who are poor. Women attempting to leave their abusers. Battered women increase their risk for murder when they try to escape. (New York City Department of Health) No matter what the rate of violence or who initiates the violence, women are 7 to 10 times more likely to be injured in acts of intimate violence than are men. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
Domestic Violence: A Generational Infection
"Domestic Violence is an infection that has weakened the underpinnings of society's structure...a contagion that has ravaged the human spirit for generations." Jane Zeller, Co-director, Silent Witness National Initiative. U.S. Department of Justice Conference: S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women.
"Children immersed in a culture of violence become insecure and lack an inner conscience that holds respect for others. They are easily discouraged and have low self-esteem. They live without hope. From such a life comes confusion, hostility and violence." Roger Toogood, ASW/ACSW Executive Director, Children's Home Society of Minnesota
"Although young people are disproportionately represented on both sides of the knife, or gun, it is important to consider their experiences as part of a larger picture of violence in America...Violence does not drop out of the sky. It is part of a long developmental process that begins in early childhood...at home." An excerpt from a study done by The American Psychological Association
"Beatings, gunshot wounds and stabbings all occur in the world of drug and alcohol-related events. Of more sobering influence is the knowledge that it is not only the 'criminal element' who is involved in such incidents, but also those people who engage in the daily production machinery of America - lawyers, physicians, teachers." G. Richard Holt, M.D., MSE, MPH President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Inc.
"Approximately one third of the men counseled for battering are professional men who are well respected in their jobs and in their communities. These have included doctors, physiologists, lawyers, ministers and business executives." David Adams, "Identifying the Assaultive Husband in Court: You Be the Judge." Boston Bar Journal, July/August, 1989.