Domestic violence is abuse which occurs between family members or persons who are related or persons who, under certain circumstances, live together. According to the American Crime Prevention Institute, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, surpassing rape, muggings, and auto accidents combined. The following statistics relate to domestic violence in America:
- Every nine seconds a woman is beaten in America.
- At least two million women a year are assaulted by husbands or boyfriends. Of these women, 25-45% are battered during pregnancy.
- Three to four million women will be physically battered at least once in their lifetimes.
- Twenty percent of emergency room visits by women are for injuries caused by battering.
- Of men who batter women, 45-75% also batter children.
- Ten women are killed every day in domestic violence.
- Three out of four women murdered are killed by their husbands.
Persons who have been victims of domestic violence should have an escape plan to enable them to get away from the aggressor:
- Avoid arguments in spaces hard to escape from.
- Leave money, car keys, clothing, and copies of documents with someone you trust.
- Keep change with you at all times.
- Rehearse an escape plan with your children, including a meeting place.
- Teach children to call 911.
- If you have an order of protection, always keep a copy with you.
Remember to contact the police to report incidents of or threats of violence. Police officers will advise you of your options in reference to safe houses and how to go about getting orders of protection.