Every week our office receives numerous phone calls relating to allegations of domestic violence. Some calls come from the accused and many others actually come from the victim. Both types of calls reflect a sad reality in our society where domestic violence is not only prevalent, but seemingly on the rise. Or, at the very least, the issue is finally getting more national media attention. In fact, there seems to be an almost never ending news cycle of professional athletes and celebrities facing accusations of domestic violence including Ray Rice (NFL), Hope Solo (MLS) and Aaron Grissom (Top Chef) to name a few of the more recent higher profile cases. At a minimum, these cases are now casting a strong glare and slowly starting to raise the national conscience of a society which has for far too long ignored a horrific problem. One fact, however, is abundantly and inescapably clear: Domestic violence is immune to societal boundaries and can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.
Safe Horizon, a leading victim assistance national organization, provides the following stunning statistics:
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime;
- Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults;
- Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men;
- Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence; and,
- Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.
Even more startling:
- Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes;
- Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%);
- A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic; and,
- A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.
If you wish for more information in this regard, you may visit the Safe Horizon link:
Or, for other resources regarding domestic violence statistics, you may visit the Bureau of Justice Statistics link:
If you feel that you are the victim of domestic violence, or you are simply unsure, you are not alone. Here are some of the more common signs to consider - as provided by Safe Horizon:
Does your partner ever….
- Accuse you of cheating and being disloyal?
- Make you feel worthless?
- Hurt you by hitting, choking or kicking you?
- Intimidate and threaten to hurt you or someone you love?
- Threaten to hurt themselves if they don't get what they want?
- Try to control what you do and who you see?
- Isolate you?
- Pressure or force you into unwanted sex?
- Control access to money?
- Stalk you, including calling you constantly or following you?
If you are a victim, please do not hesitate to seek immediate help. Here are just a few resources to consider:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline:
- Haven-Oakland (Southeast Michigan):
24-HR Crisis & Support
Toll-Free Crisis Line
- Safe Horizons:
Domestic Violence Hotline:
(800) 621-HOPE (4673)
It is time for us all to raise our level of awareness on this issue on both ends of the spectrum. If you need help either as the victim or the accused, or have any further questions regarding domestic violence, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for an absolutely free and completely confidential consultation.