The numbers


You hear a lot about the war in Afganistan and the war in Iraq. You hear about the gang wars. You even hear about the drug wars. You seldom hear about the ‘Silent War’. The war in our homes. Yet they affect a major proportion of the population in the US.

Let’s get real. How often does domestic violence really happen? No one knows for sure. The Bureau of Justice Statistics keeps some law enforcement records on DV. But not all law enforcement agencies report their crimes to the DOJ. Many episodes where law enforcement respond, are not charged or recorded. And not all incidents are reported. So any statistics presented are actually just a minimum.

Estimates suggest that 3 women are killed by Intimate Partner Violence each day. And one man is killed each day due to IPV. In the year 2000 1,247 women died from IPV. 840 men. IPV accounted for more than 33% of the homicides of women in the year 2000. And less than 4% of the homicides of men. Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to die due to IPV than from any other cause.

Approximately 1 in every 5 high school girl reports being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.

Studies show that children in the household where there is DV are 50% more likely to be abused. Estimates suggest that 3.3 million – 10 million children witness DV in their homes. They witness crimes like assaults, stabbings, rapes and murders.

And estimates range from 960,000 persons involved in incidents of IPV per year- 3,000,000 incidents per year. 3 million.

Statistics are such dry, anonymous numbers. To me they are vague- how can I imagine a million when I have never seen a million of anything. To help evaluate things I often relate statistics to geography. The U.S. Census population estimate for the  state of  Kansas is 2,744,687. For the state of Colorado the population is 4,665,177. Estimated number of persons involved in a DV episode is 3,000,000. So it is as if almost every single person in the state would be assaulted, raped or murdered in one year.

Slightly more than 1/2 of the female reported incidents of IPV have children in the home under the age of 12 years old. That is children who are learning violence at home.

Much more information about the estimated statistics is known, what I have given here is just a brief overview. I do suggest taking a look.                       

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