Do you know what constitutes Domestic Violence? Domestic or Interpersonal Violence is willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. With the statistics showing that 1 in 4 women may become victims of interpersonal violence, it is considered an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.  The majority of domestic violence reports are women by partners known to them.

Family members and loved ones who witness abuse are considered secondary victims and can also have emotional and psychological trauma.  The strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next is children who witness violence between one’s parents or caretakers.  In particular, boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.   Statistics from National Coalition Against Domestic Violence show that 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

There is a high correlation between domestic violence and homicide of females.  Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.  As reported by the NCADV, in 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, a staggering statistic, no matter which partner was killed, the woman was physically abused before the murder.  Also staggering is the realization that less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following abuse.  It is suspected that intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.

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