As many as four million women in this country suffer some kind of violence at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends each year. Very few will tell anyone--a friend, a relative, a neighbor, or the police. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all income groups, all ages, all religions. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.
Relationships - Healthy and Unhealthy
How to talk to friends who are being abused
Information for abusers
Domestic Violence Facts
- In the state of Connecticut, an estimated 40,000 incidents of battering occur each year.
- There are an estimated 28 million battered women in the United States, more than half of all married women in the country.
- In the United States, one woman is beaten by her husband or partner every nine seconds.
- Battering is the single major cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States -- more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
- 70% of the assault victims seen in the emergency room of Boston City Hospital are women who have been attacked in their own homes.
- Domestic violence is a crime. In all 50 states, police can arrest the abuser.
- In 95% of family violence cases the victims are women beaten by male partners. In 1% of the cases the reverse is true.
- Three out of five women in the United States will be battered in their lifetime.
- Battering occurs in all socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and religious groups.
Are You Being Abused?
Does the person you love...
- Track all of your time?
- Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
- Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Criticize you for little things?
- Anger easily when drinking or using other drugs?
- Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
- Humiliate you in front of others?
- Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
- Hit, punch, kick, or bite you?
- Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
- Threaten to hurt you?
- Force you to have sex against your will?
If you find yourself saying yes to any of these--it's time to get help.
If You Are Hurt, What Can You Do?
There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself.
- Call the police or sheriff. Assault, even by family members, is a crime. The police often have information about shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence.
- Leave, or have someone come and stay with you. Go to a battered women's shelter--call a crisis hotline or a health center in your community to locate a shelter. If you believe that you are in danger, leave immediately.
- Get medical attention from your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal action.
- Contact your family court for information about a civil protection order that does not involve criminal charges or penalties.
*Information provided by the Connecticut Clearinghouse and the Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis.
For more information please contact the Women's Center at (203)392-6946.