On top of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month. I’m sure some people may have known/or know someone who was/is a victim of domestic violence or maybe a victim themselves.The story you’re about to read is about a friend of mine, who I’ll call “Tricia”.
“My mother always told me that no man should ever lay his hands on a woman. My father always told me that any man who hit a woman was one of the biggest cowards to walk the face of the earth. So you’d think I would expect more out of a relationship?
My story is the typical love gone wrong. Sure he seemed like the perfect man. I didn’t want for anything and never had to ask for anything. I loved his family and his family took me in as one of their own. After our 2nd year of dating, we moved in with each other and talks of marriage was always a subject of conversation.
Literally, that night I didn’t know what hit me. Out of the blew, square to the right side of my face, his fist landed.
It was a normal night at home. I cooked dinner and we sat down as usual and ate together. For some reason I could see tension in his face and his usual tone was now monotone. I got up and gathered up the plates and started washing the dishes. As I was washing the dishes, I asked him what was wrong, once again.
“Nothing!”, he snapped back at me.
As I had my back turned to him, he approached me from behind and handed me my cell phone. He pulled up the address book and questioned why did I have my ex-boyfriend’s phone number in it. I explained to him that occasionally we still talk, because we still have a lot of friends in common.
That’s when he hit me.
All I remember was a dish dropping on the floor. He told me I had no reason in talking to him. In between tears I reassured him there was nothing going on. I couldn’t believe what happened. I was in shock. All over my phonebook.
He left the kitchen and went to bedroom and shut the door.
I was now a victim. My life flashed before my eyes. I could either stay or leave. It doesn’t take much for me to fear for my life and I picked leaving. The next day after he left for work, I packed my belongings and left.
He has not heard from me since.”
No one wants to become a statistic but occasionally it may happen to someone. Tricia became a statistic when her once loving boyfriend decided to lay his hands on her. Unlike a lot of women, Tricia didn’t give a second chance. She knew after he hit her that she had to leave. Even though he begged and pleaded, she knew that she didn’t want to take any chances.
Below are some statistics in regards to violence against women:
- On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.1
- 92% of women say that reducing domestic violence and sexual assault should be at the top of any formal efforts taken on behalf of women today.2
- 1 out of 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.3
- 1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide.3
- 1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked or physically hurt by his/her partner.4
- As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy. 5
- Violence against women costs companies $72.8 million annually due to lost productivity.6
- Ninety-four percent of the offenders in murder-suicides were male.7
- Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner(spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were females killed by their intimate partners.7
- Most murder-suicides with three or more victims involved a “family annihilator” — a subcategory of intimate partner murder-suicide.Family annihilators are murderers who kill not only their wives/girlfriends and children, but often other family members as well,before killing themselves.7
- Seventy-five percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home.7
Thankfully there are women out there who realize that they don’t have to become a perpetual victim. They realize their own value and potential. For those women out there who continue to allow the abuse happen to them, you can only pray for them and offer them your support.
If you know of anyone who is being abused, pass on this number to them or make the call yourself:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline answers more than 19,500 calls per month from victims, survivors, friends and family members, law enforcement personnel, domestic violence advocates and the general public. Hotline advocates provide support and assistance to anyone involved in a domestic violence situation, including those in same-sex relationships, male survivors, those with disabilities and immigrant victims of domestic violence. All calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline are anonymous and confidential.
1. Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.
2. Progress & Perils: New Agenda for Women, Center for the Advancement of Women. June 2003.
3. Silverman, Jay G., Raj, Anita, and Clements, Karen. “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality.” Pediatrics, August 2004.
4. Teenage Research Unlimited. Findings from study commissioned by Liz Claiborne Inc. to investigate the level of and attitudes towards dating abuse among American teenagers aged 13 to 18 [online] 2005 Feb [cited 2006 Mar 20]. Available from: URL: www.loveisnotabuse.com/statistics_abuseandteens.htm
5. Gazmararian JA, Petersen R, Spitz AM, Goodwin MM, Saltzman LE, Marks JS. “Violence and reproductive health; current knowledge and future research directions.” Maternal and Child Health Journal 2000; 4(2):79-84.
6. Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Center for disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA/
7. Violence Policy Center (VPC), American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, April 2006.