In college I read a story about a young lady that was brutally attacked in a park. The details of the attack were shocking and troubling enough but the surrounding circumstances elevated the attack to a level of disturbing proportions because there were homes in the area and people heard the screams and cries for help but no one did anything. A simple call to the police would have sufficed but instead many chose to not get involved and refused to take action. When it comes down to it the individuals who heard the cries for help didn’t give a damn about her well-being. You may think my assessment is harsh but the fact remains a human being was attacked and choosing to not do anything speaks volumes. Domestic violence (DV) is a growing problem in all cultures and socio-economic classes that requires all of humanity’s involvement to eradicate.
DV is as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. “Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person” (www.justice.gov).
Now that you know what DV is, do you wonder how often it occurs or who the victims are? Well, below are a few shocking statistics that should cause alarm:
– Every minute 20 people are the victims of domestic violence.
– Globally, 1 out of 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused during her lifetime.
– 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year.
– Almost 3 million men are victims of physical domestic violence in the USA!
– 1 in 7 men will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
– Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
– Up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
We could go on and on with the stats on DV but the point is that the problem is global and affects both men and women. That’s right, men can also be the victims.
Why in the world should you give a damn about domestic violence when it may have nothing to do with you? The victim may be your sister, brother, cousin, daughter, son, mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, or a friend and you may never know they are in danger. Unfortunately DV is taboo in many cultures and often ignored because “it’s none of our business and we don’t want to get involved in their problems”.
Ignoring an individual is a fundamental rejection of their existence and value. But we believe that domestic violence not only hurts the victim but also all of humanity because we are our brothers and sisters keepers. Taking a public stand against DV will promote awareness and hopefully stop at least one act of DV.
Stay tuned for more articles during 6/4/15-7/4/15 about DV. Thank you for taking a standing against DV. Esperanza VIVE!