The Reality of Domestic Violence Part II

My last post was very long, so I decided to divide up the information because I wanted to make sure I shared some statistical information I found on futureswithoutviolence.org:

~>On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.  In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.

~>In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data collected in 2005 that finds that women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.

~>Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.

~>Women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner.

~>Women are 84 percent of spouse abuse victims and 86 percent of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend and about three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male.

~>There were 248,300 rapes/sexual assaults in the United States in 2007, more than 500 per day, up from 190,600 in 2005. Women were more likely than men to be victims; the rate for rape/sexual assault for persons age 12 or older in 2007 was 1.8 per 1,000 for females and 0.1 per 1,000 for males.

~>The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 3.4 million persons said they were victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006.  Women experience 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 and older, while men experience approximately seven stalking victimizations per 1,000 males age 18 and older.

~>Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner – a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.

~>One in five tweens – age 11 to 14 – say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half who are in relationships know friends who are verbally abused. Two in five of the youngest tweens, ages 11 and 12, report that their friends are victims of verbal abuse in relationships.

~>Teen victims of physical dating violence are more likely than their non-abused peers to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy diet behaviors (taking diet pills or laxatives and vomiting to lose weight), engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt or consider suicide

~>15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.

~> The majority of nonfatal intimate partner victimizations of women (two-thirds) in the United States occur at home.

~>Children under age 12 are residents of the households experiencing
intimate partner violence in 38 percent of incidents involving female victims.

~> In a single day in 2008, 16,458 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing facility. Another 6,430 children sought services at a non-residential program.

~>Women who have experienced domestic violence are 80 percent more likely to have a stroke, 70 percent more likely to have heart disease, 60 percent more likely to have asthma and 70 percent more likely to drink heavily than women who have not experienced intimate partner violence.

~>In the United States in 1995, the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totaled $5.8 billion each year for direct medical and mental health care services and lost productivity from paid work and household chores. When updated to 2003 dollars, the cost is more than $8.3 billion.

~>Sexual and domestic violence are linked to a wide range of reproductive health issues including sexually transmitted disease and HIV transmission, miscarriages, risky sexual health behaviour and more.

 

Again, before we engage in jokes or solely look at this issue through our fascination with celebrities, remember everyday people are victims of violence and this is no laughing matter. Educate yourself and then educate others. You may just save a life.

 

Source: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/DomesticViolence.pdf

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The Reality of Domestic Violence

This weekend, professional football player ChadOchocinco” Johnson was arrested on charges of domestic violence against his wife of just over a month, reality television star Evelyn Lozada. For those of you who do not follow any of the countless reality television shows, this couple is one that is very visible and widely known by those who frequent mindless debauchery. What I know about Chad is that he is known as Ochocinco, his football jersey number in Spanish. I also know he is extremely arrogant based on conversations with my friends who told me about some docu-drama he was the star of where he coined what was to become widely popular phrases such as “child please” and “kiss the baby.” His television and on-field personalities are the type that you will either love or hate with little room in between.

I became aware of Evelyn as a random watcher of the heavily criticized “Basketball Wives” reality show where cameras followed the wives, ex-wives, girlfriends, and baby mamas of professional basketball players. Evelyn’s character is a matter-of-fact, no holds barred and sometimes violent female who wastes no time in telling anyone how she feels, whether it’s with words or a champagne bottle. This couple is well known in social media, as their meeting, subsequent dating, and engagement were all captured on camera. They became such a hot, popular item, the two have their own reality television show highlighting their wedding scheduled to air very soon.

Since Saturday, I have seen countless tasteless jokes surrounding this instance of domestic violence and while I understand it all is stemming from the types of people we have deemed Chad and Evelyn to be (although we really don’t know them personally) based on how they have presented themselves on television and a variety of social media sites; it is quite bothersome to me that many comments almost excuse what has happened. Or they down play it by inferring something like this should have been expected, given “how she is” or “how he is.” They make comments like “she should have known.” Let me first say, we don’t know the entire story yet. I’ve already seen contradicting reports on who hit whom. In any event, domestic violence is NEVER okay and we must be careful of the comments we make and the jokes we entertain because you never know who is a victim of abuse. You may think you know your audience, but you really have no idea.

Many of those who have been hit, beaten, strangled, choked, kicked, punched, yelled at, talked down to, and/or demeaned often suffer silently out of fear and shame. It is very difficult for these people to admit to themselves, let alone others that they are indeed victims of abuse and what has happened to them is not their fault. The most strong man or woman never speak up about what has happened because the ego is a fragile thing, so for these people to see these types of comments and jokes spreading virally; it sends them further into a cocoon of shame.

We know there are signs of abuse, however hindsight is always 20/20 and it is difficult to say what a person should have seen coming. It is easy for anyone to get caught up in a relationship and fall so deep, it seems impossible to get out. Instead of riding on your high horse, take some time to educate on these signs and provide information on how these people can get help.

According to WedMD (http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/domestic-violence-signs-of-domestic-violence), some signs to look for in your partner are:

  • Embarrass you with put-downs?
  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Take your money or paycheck, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
  • Make all of the decisions?
  • Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
  • Threaten to commit suicide?
  • Prevent you from working or going to school?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault, or even deny doing it?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
  • Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
  • Threaten to kill you?

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). This line is available 24 hours a day, not only to victims, but to their friends and family who are seeking ways to help their loved ones. While this is a national line, they are equipped to refer you to resources and safe havens in your local area. They also can help non-English speaking individuals. For those who are hearing impaired, please call 1-800-787-3224. This information was found at http://www.opm.gov/employment_and_benefits/worklife/officialdocuments/handbooksguides/domesticviolence_help/domestic-sec1.asp.

It’s all fun and games until someone you know is killed by their abuser. We often criticize reality television programming and label it as irresponsible and degrading to the community. How uplifting is it for you to make a snide remark or forward an abuse joke? Let’s be better than what we accuse them of being because at the end of the day, WE are responsible for our local communities, not celebrities we don’t even know.