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Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that can happen in a dating, marital, or live-in intimate partner relationship. In an abusive relationship, one partner tries to maintain control over the other by using physical, psychological, verbal, and sexual violence. Although factors such as drug and alcohol use, stress, or a family history of abuse may contribute to the problem, domestic violence is primarily an issue of power and control.
Abuse may include:
Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence occurs across all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. It has no boundaries and exists among dating relationships, same-sex relationships, and older victims. It also impacts the lives of children, people with disabilities, and immigrants. Learn more about who is affected by domestic violence.
Intimate partner violence is pervasive worldwide. A woman is battered by an intimate partner every 15 seconds (United Nationals Study on the Status of Women, 2000). More than 625,000 intimate partner victimizations occur each year and, on average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends (U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006).
The majority of victims are women. Studies of samples from shelters, hospitals, and police reports find that as many as 90-95% of intimate partner abuse involves a male perpetrator against his female partner or ex-partner.
Victims are getting younger. Girls between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence.
The impact on families is devastating. Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year.
Domestic violence takes a huge financial toll. The cost of intimate partner violence is more than $5.8 billion every year, including $4.1 billion in direct health care expenses.
The needs of the victims often exceed the resources available. The National Network to End Domestic Violence reports that during a one-day national survey in 2010, more than 70,000 domestic violence victims were served nationally, and more than 200 of them were in Delaware. More than 9,000 needs were unmet nationwide, due to lack of funding and resources. While a handful of those unmet needs on that one day were in the First State, our domestic violence service providers report that 57% of service programs report a rise in demand for services (NNEDV Census).
Source: Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Fact Sheet