Domestic Violence and Abuse

Sexual and intimate partner abuse is a worldwide epidemic, domestic violence affects all genders but an estimated 1 out of 3 women will experience it at some point during their lives.

If you are a victim, it is never your fault. There is no rhyme or reason to abuse, you deserve respect.

This link goes to hotline.org, which has 24/7 phone support in 170 languages, support for hearing impaired, and online chat support from 7am-2am CST.

Myths and Misconceptions

Only women are abuse victims

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender or sexuality. Estimates say 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience intimate partner violence.

Guns don't kill people

In domestic violence cases, having a gun at home increased the likelihood of murder by 500%.

Men can't be raped by women

Rape is sex without consent, anyone can become a rape victim. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped at some point during their lifetime.

Rapists are stranger danger

In the United States, almost half of all rapes are perpetrated by an acquaintance or intimate partner of the victim.

Most victims report violence to the authorities

Many victims of sexual assault and domestic violence never report what happened. The shame, stigma, and victim blaming can severely impact the lives of survivors who come forward. Lax sentences also mean abusers may strike again even with punishment.

Most people who come forward are lying for money

Only an estimated 2-8% of reports are false. Many victims never come forward because they watch as the accused get accolades and even become elected president.

Domestic Abuse, It Happened To Me, It Can Happen To You

Victim blaming does nothing but encourage more abuse. Even with all my feminist education, even with all my girl-power beliefs…I still didn’t want to admit to being a victim of abuse. I felt weak. I felt like someone else would think I was exaggerating. I was afraid that I was exaggerating. It wasn’t until one night when I got drunk and showed someone the pictures I’d saved on my iPod of the bruises that I FULLY accepted the truth. I’m here to tell you that your feelings are valid. That your pain is real. Relationships must make you feel safe and secure physically, sexually, emotionally, and financially. Trust your gut and don’t believe it can’t happen to you. I’ve heard people say, “Yes, she was abused, but she had a really hard childhood I don’t think she was brought up to be a good judge of character. Poor girl.” “Yeah, she was abused, but she saw her dad hit her mom so I think she thought it was normal.” Please, if you’ve ever said anything like this, do the world a favor and shut up. I was brought up in a loving and supportive family. My father was kind and caring and giving. My parents never fought. I was never abused or mistreated, by anyone, ever. It can happen to anyone. It happened to me.

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Economic abuse is a form of DV where the abuser restricts access to funds. Lack of financial resources is a very common reason many people stay in abusive relationships.

%

In 98% of domestic violence situations, economic abuse is present.1

%

An estimated 21-60% of domestic violence victims lose their jobs and they lose their jobs because of complications that stem from abuse.2

My Abuser Used My Financial Problems Against Me

Debt wasn’t something I could talk to my boyfriend about. In fact, there were many topics that were too dangerous to broach – that was just one of them.

Read The Guardian article that pulls the curtain back to expose what domestic violence looks like and how damaging financial abuse can be.

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+
Paid work days lost 2
$+
Cost of intimate partner violence yearly3
$+
Low estimate of yearly cost to world economy4

2. In the USA, source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
3. In the United States, source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4. Worldwide annually source: Reuters

Challenge Victim Blaming

“Shouldn't there be more distaste in our mouths for the abusers than for those who continue to love the abusers?”
Colleen Hoover - It Ends with Us

You Are Strong

“Honor yourself for all the ways you learned to take care of yourself during your abuse.”
Jeanne McElvaney - Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story

Defending Trigger Warnings: Trauma Survivor’s Perspective

A trigger warning is not censorship and it is not topic avoidance. Trigger warnings, or content notes, are a simple way to respect other people’s boundaries without intruding on their privacy.

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Donald Trump is Just Like My Abuser

That’s when it clicked: I can’t watch Trump because he is a manipulator, and his manner of speaking is that of an emotional abuser. That’s why I was finding myself fighting panic and flashbacks when I first tried watching him debate.

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Why Are We Surprised by Leniency for White Rapists?

With Stanford rapist Brock Turner being released from prison Friday after a laughably short sentence, it’s time to look at privilege. Again.

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Victims of DV Experience...

  • 54% to 84% PTSD
  • 63% to 77% depression
  • 38% to 75% anxiety5

More Common for Mentally Ill

People with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of domestic violence of all kinds, including emotional and physical abuse. The rates of abuse are even higher among those with severe mental illnesses.6

Photos on this page provided by: Nils Werner; Steve Rhode; Michael Coghlan. All other photos either public domain or by Kristance Harlow. Attribution for linked content not included here.