Wherever you live, someone was murdered and silenced by intimate partner violence. One out of every three women around the world has been beaten and abused at least once in her lifetime, and the person who is abusing her is usually an intimate partner. “Violence against women and girls is a universal problem of epidemic proportions,” says Sue Else, national director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, who is an expert in the field of domestic violence issues for more than two decades. Susan B. Carbon, director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women says, “(intimate partner violence) is the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today. It devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development. Violence against women is intimate terrorism, and it’s universal.”
But what happens in our country when a woman is suddenly found beaten or murdered by her partner? The news may give it a back page spot, but more than likely it won’t even get that. Why do most people ignore the issue when eight to ten women a day are murdered by intimate partners in the United States? Who do you know that has experienced Domestic violence?
Think about what it’s like to be a woman held in fear in her own home, trying to get away from the fierce anger of her 200+ pound male partner. The fear a victim has is almost unimaginable and horribly paralyzing. The shame she feels is often worse than her fear, so often she tells no one, putting herself and her children at further risk. It’s terrorism of the worst kind, likely happening to someone you know. For so many domestic violence victims, a death warrant results when the victim tries to end the violence. Victims often face the most danger when they attempt to leave their partner.
The cost of domestic violence is considerable in the United States. The women themselves often lose jobs due to partner violence and often can’t keep one long for having to move often to escape further partner abuse.
*1 in 3 women experience physical, mental, and/or emotional abuse by their intimate partner, often referred to as domestic violence or intimate partner violence
*Last year 32,000 lost their jobs due to Domestic Violence absences and on the job harassment
*Which resulted in 8 million days of lost work
*Millions lost in revenue and
*18.5 million mental health visits
*Billions spent in programs that represent the aftermath effects of violence (social services, law enforcement, criminal justice programs, DV programs, etc)
*But most importantly, 2,500 people died last year from Intimate Partner violence and thousands remain missing and unaccounted for.
A 2003 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the costs of intimate partner violence in the U.S. alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion is for direct medical and health care services while productivity losses to businesses account for nearly $1.8 billion. We need to educate others on the issue of domestic violence! This isn’t just a women’s issue. Women and children have the right to be safe, especially in their own homes. A home should be a safe haven for all family members. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.”
Read Author Kimberly Hartfield’s A Little Redneck Theologyfor a closer glimpse of domestic violence.
- Halley Berry Supports Domestic Violence Victims (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Widespread in the US (cdc.gov)
- Republicans Unsupportive on Reauthorization of Domestic Violence Act (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- New Domestic Violence Online Course (pdresources.wordpress.com)