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13 Truths You May Not Know About Domestic Violence

13 Truths You May Not Know About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, as defined by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ‘is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another’.

Domestic violence may include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. Domestic violence and its forms vary drastically in different relationships, however in almost all situations the abuser tries to maintain power and control over their partner.

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Domestic violence can affect anybody irrespective of age, gender, ability, sexuality, ethnicity and race. In fact, in 2001 approximately 15% of the victims of intimate partner violence were men and another statistic by the NCADV stated that 43.8% of lesbian women and 61.1% of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.

It is a commonly held belief that domestic violence only occurs in uneducated, minority or dysfunctional relationships. That is far from the truth. Domestic violence occurs at every level of society regardless of income or educational background with as many as 50% of all couples experiencing domestic violence at some point in their lives.

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The following are 13 lesser known facts about domestic violence:

  1. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten
  2. Everyday in the US more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriend
  3. More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime
  4. Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup
  5. Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs
  6. On average 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year
  7. 25% – 45% of all women who are battered are battered during pregnancy
  8. Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation
  9. 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female
  10. At least 1/3 of the families using New York City’s family shelter system are homeless due to domestic violence
  11. 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year
  12. Victims do not choose to stay in an unhealthy relationship. In fact 65% of abused women are killed when or after they leave their abuser.
  13. 76% of femicide victims had been stalked by the person who killed them

It is difficult to determine whether or not a person is abusive when a relationship is at its early stages as domestic violence often intensifies as the relationship progresses. Abusers could seem wonderful and supportive in the beginning of a relationship, however, as time goes on they tend to become controlling and aggressive. Often abuse starts to shows up in minor arguments and quarrels in the form of name calling, possessiveness and jealously. The threat and intensity of abuse often magnify. Many times abusers use intimidation, threat, emotional abuse, economic status, isolation, and blame to gain power over their victims.

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It is important to realize that domestic violence does not always manifest itself in the form of physical abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse are just as dangerous and life threatening. Many times misinformation or hurtful myths prevent individuals from seeking timely help. It is important to understand that victims of domestic violence must be supported as much as possible and referred to the right sources as soon as possible. One must never blame a victim of domestic violence nor pass any kind of judgement.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please call 911 or The National  Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
For additional resources please see:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Office of Justice Programs

Featured photo credit: B is for a Blue girl in a Blue room/Deborah Cardinal via flickr.com

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Sanah Rizvi

Sanah is an influential public speaker and a devoted advocator of female rights.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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