What is Domestic Violence? • Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. • Other terms for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence.
Who is Most Likely to Suffer from Domestic Abuse or Become a Victim of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.
- Women and men can be victims of domestic violence. Why Does Domestic Abuse Happen?
- No victim is to blame for any occurrence of domestic abuse or violence.
- While there is no direct cause or explanation why domestic violence happens, it is caused by the abuser or perpetrator.
When and Where Does Domestic Violence Occur?
- More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home. What Happens to Victims of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- At least 1/3 of the families using family shelter systems are homeless due to domestic violence.
What are the Effects of Domestic Violence on Children?
- More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.
- Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
- Children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
- Children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.
What Happens if Domestic Violence Victims Do Not Receive Help?
- Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
- Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.
#1 FACT: Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.
Help change the facts. Speak up, speak out! Make a difference for victims of domestic violence.