violence is a problem that affects every community across the
country.It crosses all races, social and economic backgrounds,
cultures, religions and relationship types.
Domestic Violence is not a private matter, a
couples problem, a domestic "squabble" or a "fight." It is not a
momentary loss of temper or the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
Violence is a choice the abuser makes.
Violence is a deliberate pattern of abusive tactics used by one partner
in an intimate relationship to obtain and maintain power and control
over the other person.
Of Domestic Violence Are Women.
Women are a "significantly greater" risk of
intimate partner violence than men. By conservative estimates, 1.5
million women in the United States are assaulted by their intimate
partners every year. (Findings from the National Violence
Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and
Centers Disease Control and Prevention, July 2000)
In the United States, a woman is more likely
to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any
other type of assault. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence
Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey, August
Alabama reflects national statistics. In
1998, 83 percent of the victims of domestic violence cases reported by
state law enforcement agencies were females. For this reason, female
pronouns are used on this web site to refer to victims.
Violence Includes A Wide Range Of Abuse
- Prevent domestic violence against women
by exposing its root causes.
- Ensure the availability of services for
domestic violence victims.
- Expand services systematically so that
every victim may obtain needed services.
- Help victims and their families rebuild
their lives through non-violent means.
- Empower victims.
- Eliminate the re-victimization of
domestic violence victims by individuals, organizations, and society
through education and collaboration.
Physical violence against women by intimates
is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior. A
recent national survey of 8,000 women found that women whose partners
were jealous, controlling or verbally abusive were significantly more
likely to report being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by
their partners. "Having a verbally abusive partner was the variable
most likely to predict that a woman would be victimized by an intimate
partner." (NVAW Survey, July 2000)
Violence Is A Crime.
The state of Alabama passed new legislation
in 2000 which names domestic violence as a separate crime in the
criminal code and stiffens penalties for abusers. The Governor of
Alabama has said to those who repeatedly abuse their families:
ready to serve your time."
of Domestic Violence as a Crime Law
of Holding Period Bill
Violence Is Still A Hidden Crime.
Most domestic violence is not reported to
the police. Only one-fourth of all physical assaults against women by
intimates were reported to police, according to a national survey. "The
majority of victims who did not report [domestic violence] thought the
police would not or could not do anything for them." (NVAW Survey, July
Domestic Violence Is Damaging
Physically And Emotionally.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of
injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the United States - more than
car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.(Uniform Crime
Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991)
Some 22 to 35 percent of women who visit
medical emergency rooms are treated for injuries related to ongoing
partner abuse. (David Adams, "Identifying the Assaultive Husband in
Court: You be the Judge," Boston Bar Journal, 33-4,
Violence Becomes More Dangerous, More Frequent And More Violent Over
"One in five women victimized by their
spouses or ex-spouses report they had been victimized over and over
again by the same person." (The Basics of Batterer Treatment,
Common Purpose, Inc., Jamaica Plain, MA)
Nearly half of men who beat their wives do
so at least three times a year. (AMA Diagnostic &
Treatment Guidelines on Domestic Violence, 1994)
Violence Can Lead To Fatalities.
In homicides in which the victim-killer
relationship is known, one-third of female victims were killed by an
intimate. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Sex
Differences in Violent Victimization, September 1997)
In one study, 88 percent of victims of
domestic violence fatalities had a documented history of physical
abuse. (Florida Governor's Task Force on Domestic and Sexual
Violence, Florida Mortality Review Project, 1997)
Violence in Alabama:
Facts About Domestic Violence
Domestic violence does not affect many people.
- Nearly one
in three adult women experiences at least one physical assault by a
partner during adulthood. (American Psychological Assn., Violence
and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association
Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family, 1996)
Battering is only a momentary loss of temper.
is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through
violence and other forms of abuse. The batterer uses acts of violence
and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats,
psychological abuse, isolation, etc. to coerce and to control the other
person. The violence may not happen often, but it remains as a hidden
(and constant) terrorizing factor. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal
Bureau of Investigation, 1990)
- Two thirds of women physically assaulted
by an intimate said they were victimized multiple times by the same
partner in a 12-month period. (NVAW Survey, July 2000)
Domestic violence only occurs in poor, urban areas.
- Women of
all cultures, races, occupations, income levels, and ages are battered
- by husbands, boyfriends, lovers and partners (Surgeon General Antonia
Novello, as quoted in Domestic Violence: Battered Women,
publication of the Reference Department of the Cambridge Public
Library, Cambridge, MA)
- "Approximately one-third of the men
counseled (for battering) at Emerge (Perpetrator's Intervention
Program) are professional men who are well respected in their jobs and
their communities. These have included doctors, psychologists, lawyers,
ministers, and business executives. (For Shelter and Beyond,
Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Service Groups, Boston, MA
Domestic violence is just a push, slap or punch - it does not produce
- More than
one third of all rapes and physical assaults committed against women by
intimates results in injury in which women receive some medical care.
(NVAW Survey, July 2000)
- Most research reports that violence
against women escalates during pregnancy. One study found that 37
percent of obstetric patients were physically abused during pregnancy.
(A. Helton, "Battering during pregnancy," American
Journal of Nursing , August 1986.)
- Each year, medical expenses from
domestic violence total at least $3 to $5 billion (Domestic
Violence for Health Care Providers, 3rd Edition, Colorado
Domestic Violence Coalition, 1991.)