At WomensHealthMag.com, we want the conversation surrounding domestic violence to get louder. So for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re sharing a few stats that left our mouths hanging open. (And if you’re feeling compelled to help stop the silence, check out the resources down below.)
1. One in 3 women in the United States will experience physical violence by an intimate partner in her lifetime.
2. Ninety-four percent of female homicide victims are murdered by someone they know.
3. South Carolina, Alaska, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Nevada have the highest rates of women killed by men, in that order.
4. Fifty-three percent of women killed by men die at the hands of a gun, and simply having a firearm in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent. (Hillary Clinton and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords are pushing legislation to close current loopholes in state law that allows those with misdemeanor domestic violence charges to access guns. They’re also seeking stronger gun protection for those in abusive dating relationships or with convicted stalkers.
5. Between 21 to 60 percent of victims lose their jobs for reasons connected to the abuse.
6. On any given day, more than 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
7. Black women are killed at two and a half times the rate of white women.
8. A bright spot: Fewer women are being killed now than they were 20 years ago. From 1994 to 2010, the overall rate of intimate partner violence declined by 64 percent, thanks in large part to legislation like the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), and their recent reauthorizations.
9. Financial abuse (think: running up debt in your partner’s name or withholding assets) impacts nearly 98 percent of all domestic violence victims, and is one of the primary reasons victims have trouble leaving the home.
10. Thirty-eight percent of domestic abuse victims become homeless at some point in their lives.
Want to Help?
There are loads of volunteer opportunities out there: You can help man a crisis line, volunteer at a battered women’s shelter, mentor or educate kids who have witnessed domestic violence, fundraise, or even just pass out pamphlets and fact sheets. Check out rainn.org, The National Domestic Violence Hotline and The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for volunteer opps. If you’re interested in learning about pushing forward policy changes, visit The National Network to End Domestic Violence.