Abuse in a relationship is NOT normal, especially when it becomes an everyday routine. If a dear one lacks the capability to keep his/her sanity intact, it is he/she who needs to be fixed and not you. This OpinionFront article reveals some shocking abusive relationship statistics that are continuously rising because most victims consider the matter to be private and keep it behind closed doors.
A Shocking Reality!
According to a survey by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in 2010, in the United States, on an average, every minute 24 people become victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.
The word ‘domestic’ is used when we speak of a home, family, or someone whom we give the right to be a part of our personal space … who becomes a part of our family. The word domestic should ideally follow words such as happiness, bliss, and peace; but, unfortunately, the word ‘violence’ seems to be accompanying it quite often, arising a grave concern for each and everyone on the planet. Speaking specifically of the United States, “More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime“, states a 2010 Summary Report of The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.
Relationships should be a blessing and not a curse! You get into a relationship to make your life better and happy. Sadly, this doesn’t stand true for everyone in this world. And what is more sad is the fact that the statistics till now are not accurate in number, not because the sources are not trustworthy, but because most people never report their sufferings, considering the act to be a “private affair”. This is one of the main reasons for allowing the situation to get worse day by day!
STATISTICS ON ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
The following statistics have been taken from various sources that are working or helping combat the adversities associated with abusive relationships. The findings are truly alarming, with an indication that every age group and gender has been victimized in some way or the other. To present the situation more clearly, we have divided the various statistics into different categories. These include statistics on children, teens, women, men, elderly, and more. Have a look.
SOME SHOCKING STATISTICS ON CHILD ABUSE
➤ According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), in 2001, 1.81 children per 100,000 in the population died due to abuse or neglect. Out of these fatalities, 82.8% were the result of abuse by one or both parents.
➤ According to the Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family, APA, 1996, every year, approximately 3.3 million children witness violence or abuse against their mothers or female caretakers by family member(s).
➤ The Georgia Department of Human Resources, Family Violence Teleconference Resource Manual, Battered Families … Shattered Lives, January 1992, states that boys who are exposed to family violence are more likely to display violent behavior towards their female partners during their adulthood as compared to those boys who are raised in non-violent homes. When it comes to girls, those who witness their mothers being abused are more likely of being battered as adults.
➤ According to a report by Sandra Graham-Bermann & Julie Seng, Violence Exposure and Traumatic Stress Symptoms as Additional Predictors of Health Problems in High-Risk Children, 146 J. of Pediatrics 309 (2005), those children who were exposed to violence experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including bed-wetting or nightmares, and were at greater risk than other children of developing allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, and flu.
➤ A study by Appel & Holden, 1998; Edleson, 1999, states that almost 30% to 60% men who abuse their female partners also abuse their children in the house.
➤ According to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Family Violence: Interventions for the Justice System, 1993, children born in households exposed to domestic violence are physically abused or seriously neglected at the rate which is 1500% more than the general population.
➤ In 2010, the rate of female intimate partner violence among households comprised one female adult with children (31.7 victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 or older) was more than 10 times higher than the rate for females in households with married adults with children (2.5 per 1,000), and more than 6 times higher than the rate for those in households with one female adult only (4.6 per 1,000).
― Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010
➤ According to the National Center on Child Abuse Prevention Research (NCCAPR), between 1997 and 1999, 76% of the child fatalities reported included children who were less than five years of age, whereas children less than one year old accounted for 40% of the deaths.
➤ As per the findings of Florida Governor’s Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Florida Mortality Review Project, 1997, during a domestic dispute, 90% of the children killed are under 10 years of age while 56% are under the age of 2.
➤ According to a report by Susan Schecter and Jeffrey Edleson, The American Humane Association, 1996, children who have dealt with domestic violence tend to show negative behavioral traits including anxiety, aggressiveness, depression, abnormal temperament, less empathy, low self-esteem, and impaired verbal, motor, and cognitive abilities when compared to those children who thrive in peaceful homes.
STATISTICS ON TEENAGERS INVOLVED IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
➤ In the U.S., 8 states do not consider a violent dating relationship as domestic abuse. Hence, adolescents, teens, and those in their early 20s are unable to apply for a restraining order for protection from the abuser.
― Break the Cycle, 2010 State Law Report Cards, A National Survey of Teen Dating Violence Laws.
➤ According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report, of all the adult victims of physical violence, rape, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, 22% of females and 15% of males had first experienced partner violence between ages 11 and 17.
➤ According to the Liz Claiborne, Inc. Study on Tech Abuse in Teen Relationships, January 2007, both teens and parents (51% and 58% respectively) believed that the use of technology, basically computers and cellphones, promoted the abuse involved in teen dating. 1 out of 4 teens admitted to have been harassed, verbally abused, or put down by their partner through cellphones. 1 in 5 teens were asked to engage in sexual activity through the internet or cellphone against their will. 30% teens were hounded by their partners by sending 10, 20, or 30 texts an hour to know of their whereabouts. And, 19% teens agreed that their partner had used internet or cellphone to spread rumors about them.
➤ According to the Liz Claiborne, Inc. Study, Teenage Research Unlimited, March 2006, 1 out of every 3 teenagers who are in a serious relationship reported that they’ve been worried about being hurt physically by their dating partner. Out of these, 1 out of 5 teens admitted to have literally been hit, slapped, or pushed by their boyfriend or girlfriend.
➤ According to same study mentioned in the previous point, 29% of teenage girls in a relationship said that they’ve been pressurized to have sex or to engage in sexual acts against their will. Almost 27% teens said that they’ve had a partner call them names or put them down.
➤ A report by Children Now/Kaiser Permanente “National Poll on Kids Health and Safety,” December 1995 states that almost 80% of girls in intimate relationships who have been physically abused, continue to be in a relationship with the abusive partner.
➤ According to the City of New York, Teen Relationship Abuse Fact Sheet, March 1998, out of teenage women aged between 15 to 19 who are murdered, 30% are killed by their partners.
➤ In a nationwide survey including 9th-12th graders, it was observed that symptoms including depression, poor self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts were linked with being exposed to dating violence. Source: Ackard et al, 2003
➤ According to Decker M, Silverman J, Raj A. 2005. Dating Violence and Sexually Transmitted Disease/HIV Testing and Diagnosis Among Adolescent Females. Pediatrics. 116: 272-276, teen girls who are physically or sexually abused are six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease.
➤ An article by Robin Hattersley Gray published in Campus Safety Magazine states, “A teen’s confusion about the law and their desire for confidentiality are two of the most significant barriers stopping young victims of abuse from seeking help.” Moreover, 58% college students are clueless about how to help a victim of dating abuse; 57% found it difficult to identify dating abuse. Also, according to the Liz Claiborne Inc. study conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005, 73% of teenagers, if involved in an abusive relationship, said that they would ask for a friend’s help. The rest 33% would choose to be silent about the matter!
STATISTICS ON WOMEN IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
➤ According to a special report on Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010, by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.” The same report also stated that, “about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.”
➤ The findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November 2000 reveal that the reported cases of sexual violence consisted of 64% of women who were physically and sexually assaulted, or stalked by their intimate partner. This includes an existing/ex spouse, live-in partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, or date.
➤ According to a study published in the Annals of Epidemiology, 33% of women killed in their workplace between 2003 and 2008, were killed by an intimate partner. 51% of homicides perpetrated by partners took place in parking lots and public buildings.
➤ According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010, “Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49. In comparison, a smaller percentage of females ages 12 to 17 (38%) indicated that the same offender had previously committed a crime against them.”
➤ As per the Journal of American Medical Association, 1990, studies of the Surgeon General’s office reveal that domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries in women aged between 15 and 44 in the United States of America. This is more common than automobile accidents, muggings, and cancer deaths combined. Also, more than one-third are battered repeatedly every year.
➤ The findings of AMA, 1998, Georgia Department of Human Resources, 1999, stated that in every 9 second, one woman is battered in the United States of America.
➤ According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 85 to 90 percent of victims of domestic violence are female. Also, intimate partner violence is experienced by females at a rate about five times more than that of males.
➤ As stated in a report published by the U.S. Department of Justice; Rennison C. M. (2001), women within the age group 16 to 24 are most susceptible to intimate partner violence.
➤ As per the findings of Heise, L., Ellsberg, M. and M. Gottemoeller. Ending Violence Against Women, December 1999, worldwide, at least 1 out of 3 women has been beaten, forced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Mostly, the abuser is not a stranger but a family member itself.
➤ According to Barbara J. Hart, Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, women who leave their batterers are at 75% greater risk of severe injury or death than those who stay. Other sources state that according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, almost 1,500 women are killed every year by their partners―husbands or boyfriends. And about 2 million men beat their partners every year.
STATISTICS ON MEN IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
➤ According to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey:2010 Summary Report, “Nearly 1 in 10 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.”
➤ “Up to 22% of men presenting to the emergency department have experienced domestic violence.” Source: Massey, J. Domestic Violence in Neurologic Practice. Archives in Neurology. 1999;56:659-660.
➤ As per the findings derived from the U.S. Department of Justice, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at iv (2000), it is estimated that 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually.
➤ 16% of adult men who reported being raped and/or physically assaulted, were victimized by a current/ex spouse, cohabitating partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, or date, as per the research done by Thoennes, N., & Tjaden, P. (2000) Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women; Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
➤ A 2004 report by Stephan S. Owen & Tod W. Burke, An Exploration of the Prevalence of Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships, indicates that intimate partner violence against men is more prevalent in same-sex relationships as compared to heterosexual relationships.
➤ According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, nearly 23% of men reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a partner belonging to the same sex, as compared to the 7% who reported such violence by a female partner.
➤ African-American males experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence, 62% higher than that of white men and about 22 times the rate of males belonging to other races. In general, be it among males or females, African-Americans experience the highest rate of domestic violence in the United States, as per the report by Callie Marie Rennison. and Sarah Welchans, U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 178247, Intimate Partner Violence (2000).
➤ According to a 2004 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Fox, J.A., & Zawitz, M.W., Homicide Trends in the U.S.: Trends by Gender), approximately 5.5% of male homicide victims were killed by a current spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
➤ Not only in case of sexual violence against women, but also when it comes to perpetration of sexual violence against men, males are the main culprits. According to Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep’t of Just., NCJ 183781, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at iv (2000), it has been observed that 70% of rapes, 86% of physical assaults, and 65% of stalking acts were perpetrated by men.
➤ Research done by Hamberger, L.K., & G use, C. (2002) “Men’s and Women’s Use of Intimate Partner Violence in Clinical Samples.” Violence Against Women, 8(11), 1301-1331 indicates that men who experience domestic violence are less likely to report and take help of domestic violence services. This is because they are usually more independent financially and are not scared of getting out of a violent relationship.
STATISTICS ON ELDER ABUSE
➤ According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, “Approximately 5.1 million American elders over 65 have some kind of dementia.” One 2009 study by Cooper, C, Selwood, A., Blanchard, M., Walker, Z., Blizard, R., & Livingston, G. Abuse of people with dementia by family carers, revealed that close to 50% of people with dementia experience some kind of abuse.
➤ A study done by the National Center on Elder Abuse, Westat, Inc. (1998), states that the female population of elders is abused at a higher rate than the male population. Also, the older the elderly, the more likely he/she may have been abused. The state Adult Protective Agencies (APS) indicate an increase in the reporting of elder abuse.
➤ The National Center on Elder Abuse also states that when it comes to the elderly, 90 percent of the abusers are family members, including children, spouses, partners, and others. Which is why most victims are reluctant to report the matter.
➤ One 2003 study by National Research Council. Elder mistreatment: Abuse, neglect and exploitation in an aging America. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press., concluded that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of authorities. The findings of The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, 2011 indicated that for every 1 case known to programs and agencies, 24 were not known.
➤ Schiamberg, L. & Gans, D. (1999). An ecological framework for contextual risk factors in elder abuse by adult children. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 11(1), 79-103, states that those family members who use drugs or alcohol, or are dealing with some form of mental/emotional illness, along with the feeling of being burdened by their responsibilities towards the elder(s) in the house, tend to abuse at higher rates than the others.
➤ The 2004 survey of adult protective services: Abuse of adults 60 years of age and older. Washington DC: National Center on Elder Abuse, indicated that 1 in 10 adults experiencing abuse did not include financial abuse. Another study done by the Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., Weill Cornell Medical Center of Cornell University. & New York City Department for the Aging. (2011), stated that the cases of self-reported major financial exploitation were higher than self-reported rates of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect―at a rate of 41 per 1,000 surveyed.
➤ According to a study done by Dong X, Simon M, Mendes de Leon C, Fulmer T, Beck T, Hebert L, et al. (2009) Elder self-neglect and abuse and mortality risk in a community-dwelling population. Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(5),517-526, those elders who experienced abuse, even if it was modest abuse, had a 300 times higher risk of death in comparison to those who had not been abused.
➤ The concern of elder abuse is also prevalent in nursing homes. A study done in the year 2000 by Broyles, K. The silenced voice speaks out: A study of abuse and neglect of nursing home residents. A report from the Atlanta Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and Atlanta Legal Aid Society to the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. Atlanta, Ga, concluded after interviewing 2,000 nursing home residents that 44 percent of participants had been abused and 95 percent had been neglected or had seen another resident being neglected.
SOME OTHER STATISTICS ON ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
➤ 57% of homeless families identified domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness.
― The United States Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities: 1999
➤ A report on Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA, states that intimate partner violence cost exceeds USD 5.8 billion each year, out of which USD 4.1 billion is for direct medical and mental health services.
➤ As per the report by Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000), only 20% of the 1.5 million people who experienced intimate partner violence obtained civil protection orders. Out of these, nearly one-half of the orders obtained by women against intimate partners who physically assaulted them were violated. Among those orders that were obtained against intimate partners who raped or stalked the victim, more than two-thirds of the restraining orders were violated.
➤ Abusers who possess guns are likely to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners. When considering other factors of abuse, more than five-fold increase in risk of intimate partner homicide was observed in cases where abusers had access to firearms, states a report by Jacquelyn C. Campbell et al., Risk Factors For Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From A Multi-Site Case Control Study, 93 Am. J. of Public Health 1089, 1092 (2003)
➤ According to a survey by the Nat’l Advoc. for Local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities, Nat’l Coal. of Anti-Violence Programs, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Domestic Violence: 2003 Supplement – An Update from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (2004), 82% of the victims of domestic violence reported to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs identified themselves as gay; 9% were cases in which the victim declined to specify a sexual orientation or it was not recorded; 4% identified as bisexual; and 0.6 % were not sure or questioned their sexual orientation.
➤ Reports by James Ptacek, Battered Women in the Courtroom: The Power of Judicial Response (1999), (reviewed in Meda Chesney-Lind, James Ptacek, Battered Women in the Courtroom: The Power of Judicial Response, 35 Crime, L. & Soc. Change 363 (2001)), indicate that 86% of the women who received a protection order, admitted that the violence/abuse either stopped or was significantly reduced.
The aforementioned statistics give a (not so) clear picture about the prevalence of domestic abuse, mainly because a majority of victims do not report their situation to the authorities. Nonetheless, it is evident that women are impacted the most from abusive relationships, with men being significant perpetrators. It is also clear that men too, are victims of physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse; however, not as much as the other gender. Lack of accurate reporting fails to bring forth a clearer picture of how things actually are.
It is extremely crucial to stop thinking that domestic violence, be it of any kind, is a private affair. In fact, the earlier you identify the signs of abuse in a relationship, the beneficial it is for you to take necessary action to prevent the situation from getting worse―most often it results in homicide. According to Campbell, et al. (2003). “Assessing Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicide.” Intimate Partner Homicide, NIJ Journal, 250, 14-19. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, “In almost 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.” No matter which gender is the abuser, if it is clear that the abusive partner is unlikely to change, or perhaps go further into the degree of abuse, contact the Law Enforcement Authorities and the police immediately, and get out of the relationship, for all it does is make things worse for everybody involved, especially the children.