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.
Domestic violence predictably follows three phases:
- Phase One: the tension builds. The offender belittles and criticizes the victim until he or she is emotionally broken.
- Phase Two: the tension peaks and the offender attacks. This acute battering incident releases the tension, and leads into phase three.
- 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.
- Avoid arguments in spaces hard to escape from.
- Leave money, car keys, clothing and copies of documents with someone you trust.
- Keep change with you at all times.
- Rehearse an escape plan with your children, including a meeting place.
- Teach children to call 9-1-1.
- 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.
- Memorize the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE and/or know how to reach local resources.