- 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
- 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
- Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk for non-fatal intimate partner violence.
- 30% of college students have been in relationships that involve physical aggression.
Domestic violence comes in all forms, not just ones you can see. In addition to physical abuse, domestic violence encompasses unwanted sexual acts, verbal abuse such as name-calling or threats, emotional abuse including ridicule, criticism and blame, and financial abuse which may involve controlling money, bank accounts, or credit cards. These are just some of the ways in which an aggressor will try to dominate the victim.
Recognizing the Signs of Abuse
- Constant attempts at controlling or manipulating the target
- Violent loss of temper by the perpetrator
- The perpetrator becomes extremely jealous
- The victim becomes quiet when the partner is around
- The target may become more and more isolated, refusing to see family or friends
- The victim has unexplained bruises
- He or she may cancel plans at the last minute, or become uncharacteristically anti-social
What You Can Do to Help
Remember that abuse is never the victim’s fault. Abuse is a pattern of physically and emotionally harmful and abusive behavior that one person uses to exercise power and control over another, but your friend or family member may not see himself or herself as a victim. Instead, you should talk to them as a friend. Ask them specific questions such as, “Has your partner ever pushed you or shoved you?” Refrain from criticizing the abuser, as this may lead to more distance in the relationship between you and your friend. Remember that no matter how much you want to step in and help, the choice is ultimately up to the victim. However, you can help by giving them positive feedback, learning about community resources, and encouraging them to develop a safety plan.
But most of all, trust your desire to help. Domestic violence almost never stops on its own.