10thingsDomestic violence, often referred to as a silent crime, gets little national attention despite how many lives it touches. President Barack Obama said it best when he stated, “A family’s home becomes a place of fear, hopelessness, and desperation when a woman is battered by her partner, a child witnesses the abuse of a loved one, or a senior is victimized by family members.”

While many steps have been made to bring an end to domestic violence, the problem persists, and often increases during tough economic times. As with all societal problems, the more we know, the more we can do to bring an end to the problem. Here are ten things you should know:
  1. Domestic violence is not only limited to physical abuse; the term also includes verbal, sexual and emotional abuse.
  2. The vast majority of domestic abuse victims are women, an estimated 95 percent of total victims.
  3. Violent acts against women are the most under-reported crimes in the United States, making it impossible to know exactly how many Americans are affected by domestic violence.
  4. When a person experiences physical abuse or violence at the hands of a partner or family member, it is rarely an isolated event. Violence tends to increase and become more severe over time.
  5. Approximately 50 percent of homeless women and children in the United States are homeless because of fleeing from a violent situation at home.
  6. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, a woman is beaten every 15 seconds.
  7. One in three teens in the United States have experienced an abusive dating relationship.
  8. Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, accounting for 60 percent of all abuse experience by American children.
  9. Among the population of senior citizens, women are twice as likely as men to suffer from elder abuse.
  10. Boys who witness domestic violence from male role models are more likely to abuse their female partners as adults, compared to boys raised in non-violent homes.

Photo by Meggganhope, flickr.

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