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Domestic Violence & Battery

Domestic Violence and Battery

Women face the highest risk for all forms of abuse, not in a dark alley or war-torn nation, but in the sanctity of their own homes.

Research into every category of violence against women--psychological, verbal, emotional, physical--shows that the most likely perpetrator is a family member, a spouse, or an acquaintance or friend of someone in the family. Nearly 25% of women in a 1998 survey reported having been raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner or date at some time in their lifetime. 

Domestic battery--injury of a woman at the hands of her husband or lover--is responsible for more injuries to adult women than any other cause. In fact, battery results in more injuries requiring medical treatment than rape, auto accidents, and muggings combined. 

Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence against women is no more likely to occur among the poor and uneducated than it is among the affluent and privileged and is not particular to any ethnicity or confined to city or suburb. In the United States, domestic violence crimes account for up to 40% of all calls to police. In 1995, 30% of female murder victims in the U.S. were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. 

Emotional abuse is possibly even more dangerous, as it is aimed toward breaking a woman's mind and spirit.  Emotional abuse includes--but is by no means limited to--daily verbal humiliation; controlling and/or threatening acts; financial exploitation; stalking; and spiritual abuse (when a woman is prevented from practicing her faith). 

As defined by Education Wife Assault: "Emotional abuse, like physical abuse, is used to control, demean, harm or punish a woman. While the forms of abuse may vary, the end result is the same - a woman is fearful of her partner and changes her behavior to please him or be safe from harm. Many people think that emotional abuse is not as serious or harmful as physical abuse. Women state that this is not true, and that the biggest problem they often face is getting others to take emotional abuse seriously."

The behavior of intimidating one's partner also occurs within same-sex relationships, as indicated by reports of lesbian and gay domestic abuse. 

Actions, Information & Opportunities to Help

There are many websites -- both comprehensive and single-issue -- dedicated to informing and analyzing issues related to domestic violence and battery. Also listed below are resources that offer help, theoretical sociological works, cultural studies and multiple published news articles and campaign information pieces.

  • Domestic Violence Agencies on the Internet
  • Nation Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Alternatives to Violence Resources for Men
  • Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey
  • National organizations and clearinghouses against domestic violence by
  • National Organization for Women (NOW)--Violence Against Women page  
  • The Second Closet: Domestic Violence in Lesbian and Gay Relationships
  • The Sounding Board Counseling Center--listing of domestic violence shelters (by state)
  • Biden-Hatch Violence Against Women Act of 2000
  • What Can Men Do To Help Stop Domestic Violence?