Domestic violence is rare and only affects a small percentage of the population.
Domestic violence is experienced in every type of relationship, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status, gender, or sexual orientation.
- Every nine seconds, a woman in United States is physically abused (First Comprehensive National Health Survey of American Women, 1999 Family Violence Prevention Fund).
- It is the leading cause of injury for women age 15 to 44.
- One study showed that 30% of women presenting with injuries in an Emergency department were identified as having injuries by battering (McLeer, S. and Anwar R., 1989).
- Domestic violence accounts for over 50% of female homicides (Smolowe, 1994).
- 30-45% of teen dating relationships involve violence (Youth Peace).
Domestic violence is a personal issue.
Domestic violence impacts the entire community. It affects our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and families. It diminishes the quality of life of every citizen in our community. Critical impacts on children, as well as costs to health care providers, employers, and governmental entities are displayed below.
Studies show that in 50-70% of cases in which a parent abuses another parent, the children are also physically abused (Bowker et al., 1988). Children also suffer emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and developmental impairments as a result of witnessing domestic violence in the home (Jaffe, 1990). Studies also have shown that 30% of these children model the abusive behavior later in life (Stark, 1994).
- Health Care
The total health care costs of family violence are estimated at more than $44 million each year (R. Gelles, Family Violence, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, 1987).
Domestic violence costs employers $3 to $5 billion annually due to worker absenteeism (New York Victim Service Agency Report on the Costs of Domestic Violence, 1987).
- Government/Criminal Justice
Arizona law enforcement agencies consistently report that domestic violence is the single largest call for service. In each of the last three years, local police departments have received approximately 100,000 domestic violence related calls, written 39,692 reports, and made 21,404 arrests. State courts have issued an average of 36,648 Orders of Protection and Injunctions.
Batterers abuse their partners or spouses because of alcohol or drug abuse.
Substance abuse does not cause domestic violence, though it is frequently used as an excuse. In come cases, substance abuse may increase the frequency or severity of violent episodes (Jillson & Scott, 1996). Because substance abuse does not cause domestic violence, requiring batterers to attend only substance abuse treatment will not effectively end the violence. Victims often report that even when their partners became clean and sober, the abuse continued.
Anger management treatment and couplesī counseling are appropriate interventions for batterers and for couples where domestic violence is a problem.
It is a battererīs desire to control his or her partner, not a problem with anger, which underlies the abusive behavior. Batterers in treatment often say they used their expression of anger as a way to intimidate and control their partners. Anger management programs are NOT suitable alternatives to certified batterer treatment because they are not designed to address the fundamental causes of domestic violence or safety and accountability issues.
Couplesī counseling is also NOT appropriate treatment for batterers. Experience has shown that couplesī counseling can further jeopardize the victim's safety and give the batterer support for blaming the victim for the violent behavior.