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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women - surpassing rape, mugging, and auto accidents combined. Here are the statistics on domestic violence in America:

  • Every 9 seconds a woman is beaten in America.
  • At least two million women a year are assaulted by husbands or boyfriends. 25-45% of these women are battered during pregnancy.
  • 3-4 million women will be physically battered at least once in their lifetimes.
  • 20% of emergency room visits by women are for injuries caused by battering.
  • 45-75% of men who batter women also batter children; spouse abuse is the single most identifiable risk factor for predicting child abuse.
  • Ten women are killed every day in domestic violence.
  • 3 out of 4 women murdered are killed by their husbands.

The Cycle of Abuse

Domestic violence predictably follows three phases:

  1. Phase One: the tension builds. The offender belittles and criticizes the victim until he or she is emotionally broken.
  2. Phase Two: the tension peaks and the offender attacks. This acute battering incident releases the tension, and leads into phase three.
  3. Phase Three: This phase is marked by kind, contrite, loving behavior. Commonly, the offender may promise that the assaults will never happen again. Without treatment, this is not true. It's only a matter of time before phase one kicks in all over again. If you are the victim of domestic violence, and your partner is not following through with treatment, y our safety can best be guaranteed if you escape from the situation.

Escape Plan

  1. Avoid arguments in spaces hard to escape from.
  2. Leave money, car keys, clothing and copies of documents with someone you trust.
  3. Keep change with you at all times.
  4. Rehearse an escape plan with your children, including a meeting place.
  5. Teach children to call 9-1-1.
  6. If you have a restraining order, keep copies at multiple locations. Always keep a copy with you; keep a copy in the car; give your children copies. Give copies to teachers and police, with a photo of the offender.
  7. Memorize the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE and/or know how to reach local resources.
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