It’s always good to have an honest friend. You know, that one who doesn’t filter their thoughts and simply says it as it is. This particular friend said to me, “Why should I care?” And he got me to thinking. He wasn’t necessarily talking about domestic violence, but he struck a chord with me. Why should he care about my passion? I’ve noticed that many people do not care about my passion for speaking against domestic violence. Getting friends and loved ones to do something as simple as like a Facebook page seems to be the equivalent of asking them to actually endorse physical violence against puppies. I see that the same people reading and liking my posts are the same people who support most causes.
Why is this? Well, I believe that as humans, we don’t want to see the more unpleasant side of life. It is downright depressing and so much easier to look the other way and pretend it doesn’t exist. We are all guilty of it. I’ve found myself scrolling past posts on cancer, or changing the channel when the ASPCA commercials come on. Is this because I have no heart? Because I don’t care about those suffering from cancer or abused animals? No. This is because it is difficult to deal with all the pain in our world and easier to look the other way. But, I should care. I should at least attempt to educate myself to the issues so that I can support those around me who are dealing first hand with those issues that do not affect me.
That is exactly how we should be dealing with domestic violence. Why should you care about domestic violence? Because someone close to you is dealing with it right this very minute. And if that is not enough to make you perk up to this far-reaching and devastating matter, then you may want to consider how it is actually affecting you personally, because domestic violence affects our society, our finances, our children, and our animals. Take some of these numbers into consideration.
In the U.S., 1 woman is beaten every 9 SECONDS. 20 people are victims of intimate partner violence every MINUTE.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 MEN are victims of some sort of physical violence, by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men are SEVERELY PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED by an intimate partner.
Approximately 38,000,000 people have experienced intimate partner violence.
2 in 5 GAY and BI-SEXUAL men are victims of intimate partner violence. 50% of all LESBIAN women have been victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.
70% of all women WORLDWIDE have been physically or sexually abused in their lifetime.
BLACK women have a 35% higher likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence than white women.
15% of all VIOLENT CRIME is due to intimate partner abuse. 20% of all intimate partner HOMICIDE victims were the family members, friends, neighbors, and individuals who intervened. THAT IS YOU.
72% of all murder-suicides are by intimate partners.
From 2003-2008, 142 women were murdered in their WORKPLACE.
3 women are murdered every DAY by a current or ex -partner.
Between 2001 and 2008, 11,766 WOMEN were killed by their current or ex-male partner. To put the inperspective, during the same timeframe, 6,488 TROOPS were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Victims who have entered shelters state that their PETS have been hurt, killed, or threatened by an intimate partner. ⅓ report that their CHILDREN have hurt the animals in the home.
1 in 15 CHILDREN are exposed to domestic violence each year. 90% of them witness the violence first hand.
BOYS who witness domestic violence are 2x more likely to abuse their future intimate partner and children.
1 in 5 HIGH SCHOOL students experience physical abuse from their dating partner each YEAR.
⅓ of ADOLESCENTS in the U.S. are physically, sexually, emotionally, or verbally abused by their dating partner.
43% of all COLLEGE students experience violent or abusive behaviors by their dating partners.
Victims lose 8 million days of PAID work leave each YEAR. That is the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
Domestic Violence is the 3rd leading cause of HOMELESSNESS among families.
Approximately $37 BILLION a YEAR is spent for law enforcement, legal, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity.
Why should you care?
As you can see, domestic violence has far-reaching effects. It is affecting you. It affects your children when they spend time at a friend’s house, your daughter as she enters the dating world, someone in your family, a friend in your circle, your neighborhood, your workplace, and your pocketbook.
It isn’t a sexy topic and is just now getting attention by the media. But it takes you being aware, learning the signs, and paying attention to help protect and support those that you love and interact with. It takes each of us being involved for there to be change. We cannot throw money at it and hope that research will find a cure. The cure is you!