Three. That’s the average number of women who die every day because of domestic violence.
Fifteen and a half million. That’s how many children witness domestic violence in a year, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence affects women, men and children. Approximately 7 million women are raped or sexually assaulted by “a partner each year.” One in five women and one in 77 men have “experienced rape” in their lifetime, and one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually assaulted as minors, according to NNEDV.
Graphic created by Melissa BednarekThe U.S. Department of Justice “define(s) domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. …This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone,” according to justice.gov.
Before I researched the statistics for this editorial, I was vastly under-educated. I knew domestic violence happens. We all know it’s real. But do we know how often or when or where? Do we know to whom? Is it a family member, friend or the stranger you walked past today? Sadly, sometimes we don’t know. But sometimes we do.
Even if we can answer these questions, what can we do? How do we stop this abuse that no one deserves? We start by asking questions. Understanding the problem is the first step. I’ve shown you the numbers. How can you help? No More is an organization with dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. According to nomore.org, the best ways to help end domestic violence is to be educated, raise awareness and show support for ending it.
If you have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence, please do not hesitate to get help. There are numerous organizations dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence achieve a better life. Kristi Henson, work-study assistant to Dr. Joanne Stafford in Special Services and Student Outreach, said, “Domestic violence is not OK. … It’s just not a good place to be.”
On-campus counseling for domestic violence is available by appointment; call 733-7373. The National Domestic Violence hotline is 1-800-799-7233.