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About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one partner to control the other in an intimate relationship. It takes many forms: physical violence, sexual assault, economic control, or psychological/emotional abuse. In the United States, the majority of domestic violence victims are female – between 90-95%, based on information gained from shelters, hospitals, and police reports.

Learn about domestic violence by clicking the links on the left.

According to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, in Delaware in 2013:

  • Police responded to 23,985 domestic violence incidents.
  • Family Court processed 3,073 Protection From Abuse (PFA) Petitions.
  • Domestic Violence hotlines received 4,067 calls.
  • 566 women and children received shelter services in DV shelters statewide.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) takes an annual snapshot of every state to see how each is faring in its work to stop domestic violence. On Sept. 17, 2013, NNEDV heard from 1,649 participating programs from throughout the country about services provided to domestic violence victims during the 24 hour survey period. In the U.S.:

  • More than 66,500 victims were served in one day.
  • More than 36,000 found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic programs.
  • More than 20,000 domestic violence hotline calls were answered.

In Delaware, the impact of domestic violence is just as significant. On Sept. 17, 2013, the NNEDV report showed that domestic violence service providers assisted 214 Delaware victims in this single day:

  • 106 Delaware victims (64 children and 41 adults) found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing offered by local domestic violence programs.
  • 108 adults and children in Delaware received services such as counseling, legal advocacy, and children’s support groups.
  • 19 Delaware victims sought help from domestic violence hotlines.
  • Due to shortages of funds and staff to assist victims needing services, 10 requests were unmet in Delaware on that day.
  • 71% of these programs reported that due to these unmet requests for help, victims returned to their abuser, and 29% reported that victims became homeless.

If you know someone who is being abused…

  • Do not ignore it.
  • Talk to them, let them know that you are aware of the situation.
  • Be a good listener, let them express the hurt, anger and fear.
  • Do not judge them.
  • If possible, offer them a safe place to stay, transportation, or childcare.
  • Encourage them to make their own decisions, even if you do not agree with them.
  • Hold the abuser accountable for his/her actions.

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