Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as a part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.
Domestic Violence Warning Signs:
- Having your partner fail to follow boundaries you establish in the relationship.
- Making efforts to change behavior or beliefs to avoid a partner’s anger.
- Feeling pressured by a partner when it comes to sex.
- Being criticized or humiliated by a partner.
- Having a partner check up on you and questioning you about your actions and activities.
- Having a partner repeatedly accuse you of seeing or flirting with other people.
- Having your partner’s jealousy stop you from seeing friends or family and engaging in activities.
- Witnessing your partner throw or break objects to intimidate you.
- Having your partner make threats about hurting or killing themselves to control your behavior.
- Making excuses for the abusive behavior. For example: saying, “It’s because of alcohol or drugs,” or “I can’t control my temper,” or “I was just joking”.
- Obvious injuries, often attributed to being clumsy or accidents and efforts to hide injuries.
- Delivery of gifts and flowers after an argument or obvious physical violence.
- An unusual number of phone calls, texts, emails, or unexpected appearances at work, school and/or residence by a significant other.
- Signs of anxiety and minimization of incidents.
Domestic Violence Statistics:
- In the U.S., an average of 20 people are physical abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually (Black et al., 2011).
- On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive approximately 20,800 calls (National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2015).
- The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500% (Campbell et al., 2003).
- 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon (Truman & Morgan, 2014).
- Domestic violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime (Truman & Morgan, 2014).
- Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries (Truman & Morgan, 2014).
- Domestic violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24 (Truman & Morgan, 2014).
- Victims of domestic violence lose a total of 8 million days of paid work each year. (Rothman, Hathaway, Stidsen, & de Vries, 2007).
- Between 21-60% of victims of domestic violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse (Rothman, Hathaway, Stidsen, & de Vries, 2007).
- Between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by former or current intimate partners. This amounts to 22% of workplace homicides among women (Finkelhor, Turner, Ormrod, & Hamby, 2011).
How to Help a Survivor:
- DO listen to and believe the survivor.
- DO validate survivor’s feelings. Tell the survivor that what happened was not his/her fault, and that (s)he did not deserve it.
- DO help the survivor identify resources in case (s)he wants to report or press charges. Look up NCSU’s sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking policies and the legal protections offered through Title IX and the Clery Act.
- DO REPORT the incident as a CSA (Campus Security Authority), Responsible Employee, and/or under Title IX obligations.
- DO help the survivor find NCSU’s victims advocate services through the Women’s Center and/or connect to the NCSU Counseling Center.
- DO understand your own limits. As much as you want to be there for the survivor, licensed psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists have the training to offer long-term support. Take care of yourself and your own mental health, and encourage the individual to see a counselor.