Introduction: What is a Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors including physical, sexual and psychological attacks between the partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is often classified into four types: emotional, physical, sexual or financial abuse. A cycle of violence that includes controlling behavior, intimidation, and violence is often repeated within the relationship. The abusive partner threatens the victim with physical harm and uses it as a way to control him or her. Physical abuse can be hard to identify because couples involved in domestic violence often have few outward signs of abuse. It is important to note that physical abuse does not always occur first in the relationship. Although some studies show this, others show that emotional abuse is often a precursor to physical violence. In addition, many domestic violence victims are reluctant to report the abuse due to psychological and other factors.
The research on domestic violence is not entirely conclusive. Often, studies have used a narrow scope of methods that only include those who have sought help from their chosen therapists or professional counselors, and do not include those who seek help from family members, friends or other sources (Johnson-Bennett 2006). This makes the results of studies unreliable as they can rarely represent the entire population involved. Many studies, though, do show an increase in domestic violence incidents by as much as 2-3 times the rate of non-violent couples.

is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me
is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence was first defined in 1974 by Lenore Walker as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, injure or wound someone.” Estimates of who experiences domestic violence range from 2-10% of the population in married and dating relationships and up to half of all women and 5% of men experience psychological abuse during their relationship. Also, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors including physical, sexual and psychological attacks between the partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is often classified into four types: emotional, physical, sexual or financial abuse. A cycle of violence that includes controlling behavior, intimidation, and violence is often repeated within the relationship.
Women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than men, with estimates ranging from 37% to 85% of female victims. Domestic violence is also the largest cause of injury among women between the ages 15 and 44. In some cases, domestic violence can be an issue in same-sex relationships as well.
“Domestic Violence is violent behavior used by one person in a relationship to exert power and control over another.” It can include any physical, sexual or psychological abuse that happen between a couple. It can also include stalking, harassment and intimidation.
An estimated 2-10% of the population experience domestic violence in a relationship. However, 38% of the victims of domestic violence are men and 62% are women.
Domestic violence can be physical or it can take place in a text message or email. Domestic Violence is often confused with other types of abuse such as emotional abuse and infidelity/rape.
Just over half of the victims of domestic violence are women with 38% being male and 62% being female.

is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me
is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me

The Rise of Domestic Violence In America

The rise in domestic violence in America has been attributed to many factors. Changes in the family unit, a decline of strong marriages, and a decline of focused access to social services have all contributed to a rise in domestic violence. In 1982, only five states had mandatory arrest policies for batterers and very little was being done to protect abused women. However, since then laws have been passed statewide requiring mandatory arrest of domestic violence offenders between 1992-1996 and the face-to-face intervention training was mandated by California Victim’s bill of Rights in 1994. Furthermore, the availability of shelters and support services has increased greatly. This has led to a more visible issue that people are willing to discuss and put the rights of women into perspective.

is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me
is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me

Domestic Abuse Statistics in the US

The Association of State Correctional Administrators has done research on the prevalence of domestic violence within the US. They found that 1 out of 3 households experience domestic violence during their lifetime and that 16% of all inmates have experienced some form of domestic abuse before incarceration. Furthermore, it is estimated that 80% of all women eve sentenced for murder were abused and are 35% more likely to recieve a life sentence then men who kill. National statistics have proven that domestic violence is a clear and present situation in the US and is on the rise. (1)
The National Coalition for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault has determined that one out of three women are survivors of domestic violence. The study found that 44% of US women have been victims by a man who has also victimized their children. Those at greatest risk, who were in a relationship with a batterer in the past 12 months, were twice as likely to have been injured; they were also more likely to be unemployed, homeless or experiencing other economic hardship.
(2)
The Crime Victimization Survey (CVS) conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has determined that 1 out of every 3 women in the US has experienced some form of domestic violence. Of those women, 20 percent reported being beaten by their spouse or boyfriend in their lifetime, and an additional 8 percent were physically assaulted by a current or former dating partner since age 16.
(3)

is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me
is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me

How to Confront Your Partner About a Violent Relationship?

A very important note to remember is that domestic violence is a choice and no one deserves to be abused by another human being. It is important to talk with a trusted friend, someone who will not judge you or stand in the way of you leaving the relationship. Talking with someone private and safe is the best way to get out of abuse. Please remember to take all domestic violence incidents seriously, and if possible call the police immediately. If you are in a dangerous situation, call 911.
{IMAGE: Photograph by Erin Sheeley/Courtesy of Montclair State University]
If you decide to leave your partner, there are a few things you need to know. It may be hard to separate yourself from the abusive relationship, but it will be worth it in the end. When you leave a relationship, you will leave the choice of your abuser behind. Whether it is your decision to stay or leave, there is absolutely nothing to gain from staying in an abusive relationship.
{IMAGE: Photograph by Erin Sheeley/Courtesy of Montclair State University]
There are many reasons a woman decides to stay in an abusive situation, but there are also many reasons why she should separate herself from an abuser. Abusers generally start as partners who are loved and adored by all. The abuser seems like a perfect person at the beginning of the relationship. As time goes on, however, the abuser shows signs of possessiveness, jealousy, and rage.
{IMAGE: Photograph by Erin Sheeley/Courtesy of Montclair State University}

is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me
is it notmal for my girlfriend to hit me