Posts tagged ‘Spousal Abuse’

Domestic Violence Statistics Not Low Enough

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 552, 000 females, age 12 and older, experienced non-fatal violence from an intimate partner in 2008. In 2007, 1,640 females were killed by an intimate partner, making up 70% of all intimate partner homicides. And although the numbers of women killed by an intimate partner has declined in the last decade, I don’t know anyone who thinks these numbers are low enough.

To make things worse, the reach of domestic violence goes beyond the immediate victim. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 38% of victims of domestic violence had children under the age of 12 living in the home. And of those children in the home, it is estimated that 60% directly witnessed the violence. (See full statistics from the BJS here.)

Societal Impediments

For some reason, our society, and many others across the globe, have an aversion to interfering in domestic violence incidents. Some people feel that it’s a family matter or that they have no business getting into a fight between spouses or family members. This attitude has even been reflected in law enforcement practice, waiting for a battered woman to press charges against an abuser before taking any legal action. But perhaps things are changing with a new program created by the Baltimore Police Department.

A New Way to Fight Domestic Violence

The Baltimore PD has created a new Family Crime Unit designed specifically to intervene in domestic violence situations early, before these situations descalate into serious injury or death. According to Peter Hermann, of the Baltimore Sun, the new unit has been modeled after the homicide division, in order to more aggressively act on domestic violence incidents and prevent further violence before it happens. And the unit is already seeing some success. For example, this year, Baltimore has only seen 4 domestic killings, as opposed to 13-14 in years previous. And this success comes at a time when the economy is down, traditionally a time when domestic violence rises. (Read about the extent of the program here.)

Their approach to domestic violence is something that needs to be modeled in other law enforcement agencies across the county. Domestic violence is NOT just a family matter. It affects us all. Be aware of the issues and become an active citizen in favor of a smarter, more aggressive domestic violence response unit for you local law enforcement agency.

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October 26, 2009 at 11:00 pm 2 comments

Don’t Ignore Domestic Violence

The Galveston County Daily News recently published a story about offering help to victims of domestic violence. Dr. Jeff Temple, a professor at the University of Texas, asks these questions:

If you witnessed someone breaking into your neighbor’s house, would you call the police?

What if you saw someone stealing the neighbor’s car? How about if you saw your neighbor hit his wife?

This last question might be a bit more difficult to answer, but it shouldn’t be.

Many people are afraid to get involved in instances of domestic abuse. Some think it is a personal matter and they shouldn’t get involved in anyone’s private business. But Dr. Temple says that kind of thinking is wrong:

Domestic violence is not a private matter; it is a severe and pervasive public health concern that demands the same diligence as other problems you might encounter in your neighborhood.

A marriage license is not a license to hit. If you witness an incident of domestic violence, call the police.

Assault is assault no matter how you slice it. Just because it occurs between intimate partners does not mean we can look the other way.

If you know someone who is involved in an abuse relationship, offer specific help. Let them know where they can go, what numbers to call, what websites to go to, and who they can turn to for help. They may not want your help, but if you offer it, then they will know who they can come to when they are ready to get help.

Read Temple’s full article here:

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September 29, 2009 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Rise in Dating Violence May Be Linked to Recession

A new study released by the Family Violence Prevention Fund found that 44% of teens whose families have been adversely affected by the recent economic downturn have witnessed verbal or physical abuse between their parents. In addition, 67% of those affected have also experienced abuse in a relationship themselves. And these numbers have been on the rise since the economy turned sour.

In addition to the numbers cited above, the report found that 1 in 3 teens have experienced sexual or physical abuse (or threats of abuse) in a dating relationship, and almost half of teens have experienced some form of controlling behavior from their dating partner.

As a parent, it’s important to talk to your children about abusive relationships, especially considering the fact that only 25% of teens report having any type of teen dating and violence course or curriculum at school.

Talk to your teens about dating violence, and teach them that such abuse is not part of a healthy relationship. As well, remember that, as parents, your relationship with your spouse is a model for your children’s relationship choices. If you are experiencing stress due to financial troubles, don’t let that stress spill over into your spousal relationship. Seek counseling, if necessary, to keep your relationship free of strife, providing your children with a positive model of a loving relationship.


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June 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm 1 comment

As Economy Worsens, Domestic Abuse Rises

The recent fall in the economy has more than just financial repercussion for some families. Seventy-five percent of domestic abuse shelters have seen a sharp rise in cases since last September and most of them attribute the rise to the failing economy.

Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says, “domestic violence is a crime of access. Since a significant number of people have lost their jobs in the last six months that means more people are at home together for long periods of time. Money has always been an issue that causes stress between couples and in families.”


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May 22, 2009 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

GPS Used to Track Abusers and Stalkers

An interesting article posted at Cografi Bilgi Sistemleri covers a recent trend in halting violence before it begins. Many states are beginning to strap GPS tracking devices to repeat offenders who have been accused of spousal abuse or stalking. In these cases, the victim has filed a restraining order that the offender refuses to acknowledge. Once the offender has been outfitted by the court-mandated device, local law enforcement are alerted whenever the offender enters the restricted area and can respond before a 911 call has to be made.

One victim said, ““It was the first time I could turn my house alarm off and feel O.K.” Read the full article by clicking the link above.

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May 13, 2009 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment



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